Muturi Confirms His Plans On CBA and Retraining For Teachers

Muturi Confirms His Plans On CBA and Retraining For Teachers

The new Chairperson of the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), Jamleck Muturi has once again promised to implement the 2017-2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) in full. Muturi, who assumed office this week, stated that teachers should be motivated so that they can be able to do their work. This comes at a time when Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) has been in constant tussle with TSC over the manner in which the commission implemented the CBA and the introduction of Career Progression Guidelines (CPG) by the commission, which has been the root cause of endless court battles between the union and the commission, impacting on union’s operations and membership. In August last year, the commission stopped the pay rise of around 103,624 teachers who were members of KNUT.

In a statement issued by the commission that time, it indicated that only tutors not affiliated to union were to get the pay rise, saying the payroll for the KNUT members was not factored in Phase Three of the 2017-2021 CBA after a court ordered that terms be based on the schemes of service and not CPG as TSC had sought.

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“The judgment of the Employment and Labour Relation Court, has necessitated preparation of two parallel payrolls in order to comply with the court ruling without disadvantaging teachers who are not KNUT members,” the statement read in part. The commission further added in the statement that “Inevitably, this will also lead to KNUT members losing all the benefits embedded in the CPG as an implementation tool for the CBA. In addition, reversal of grades and full recovery of the previously enhanced salaries and allowances since 1 July, 2017 shall be effected.” KNUT-affiliated Headteachers, Deputy Headteachers and Senior Teachers were among those who missed out the pay rise.

In December 31st 2018, TSC filed a Petition in court after KNUT issued a strike notice. The union was opposing the current promotion model, the CPG, Teacher Professional Development (TPD) Programmes and teacher appraisal system; which the court ruled out on the matter in 12 July, 2021. By that time KNUT membership was over 180,000 and going for a strike meant that learning activities in all public primary schools and some secondary schools could be interrupted hence the commission went to court to stop the strike. In the judgment which highly favoured the union, the court set aside the performance based on career progression frameworks for teacher management and remunerations, and further stopped the implementation of performance appraisal tools. The commission said that based on the ruling it could not implement the benefits under the third phase of the CBA, which didn’t affect Kenya Post Primary Union of Teachers (KUPPET) affiliated members.

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Although the Employment and Labour Relations Court ruled in favor of KNUT, its members lost financially, thus causing an exodus of teachers from KNUT to other Teachers’ unions since July last year while others opted not to be attached to any Teachers’ union. Since July 2019, KNUT has lost up to Sh1 billion in union dues and this has hindered its operations due to decrease in membership to about 30,000 members from over 180,000. The Sossion-led union used to get about Sh143 million every month before the dispute escalated between the union and the commission.

In May 2018, the commission issued a policy introducing CPG and abolished the three prevailing schemes of service for non-graduate, graduate and technical teachers and lecturers. Under the old arrangement, all non-graduate teachers in job group G would progress through automatic promotion to job group L.

Promotions were effected every three years and based on annual appraisals. The teachers could also move from job group L to N through interviews, while graduate teachers in job group P would move through to job group R. Under the new arrangement, all teachers will be required to undertake modular training in selected institutions, which will issue certificates that will be filed by TSC to guide promotions.

It meant that teachers would no longer be promoted based on academic papers but on professional training and work output, a move that has been for time faulted by Sossion.

Muturi further stated that he will seek to improve the quality of teaching through post-college training for teachers, and just like other professionals such as lawyers, teachers should undergo post-graduate training to improve the quality of service.

“This is important for us to bring dignity back to the teaching profession,” he said. “I will engage all parties involved and address the contentious issues.” Next.

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