KENYA: Finer details of the Government Sh16.2 billion offer with the Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers are finally out even as their Kenya National Union of Teachers counterparts rubbished the offer as illegal and a raw deal.
The deal officially signed yesterday will see the lowest paid teacher in Job Group G get an increment of about Sh900 as commuter allowance at the end of this month.
Chief principals, who are only 99 across the country, will get an increment of Sh3,477 effective July 1.
Teachers in Job Group H will get an increment of Sh846, Job Group J (Sh1,007) while their counterparts in Job Group K will get an increment of Sh927. However, teachers in Job Group L will get an increment of Sh1,123, Job Group M (Sh1,594) and Job Group N (Sh1,487). Others in Job Groups P and Q will get an increment of Sh2,565 and Sh3,027, respectively.
According the memorandum of understanding betweenKuppet and the Teachers Service Commission, the offer on commuter allowance will be staggered over two years and paid in three phases.
This means the second package will be paid effective July 1, 2014 while the final will be paid the same date in 2015.
“This CBA will be registered with the Industrial Court. It’s a good deal because everybody is going to benefit from primary to tertiary institutions. Kuppet has set an excellent precedent,” said Education Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi after the deal was signed yesterday.
By July 2015 when the last phase is to be implemented, the lowest paid teacher will have an increment of Sh2,099 while the highest paid teacher will get Sh11,590.
The offer also brought on board a new benefit, ‘readers allowance’ for teachers of visually-impaired students who will earn a new rate of Sh15,000 per month as well as special school allowance at a flat rate of Sh10,000 for every teacher teaching in such schools.
Kuppet and TSC also agreed that responsibility allowance will be increased by 100 per cent of the current rates but will only apply to teachers in Job Groups K and below.
However, as Kuppet finally signed the deal with the Government, the war of words between the two rival teachers’ unions intensified with Knut top brass terming the deal illegal.
Knut Chairman Wilson Sossion maintained the structured negotiations ordered by the Industrial Court were to be chaired by Labour Cabinet Secretary Kazungu Kambi and not anyone else.
“What transpired is an illegality which is meant to create disharmony with the bargaining procedure. TSC must respect the courts,” insisted Mr Sossion, who has been away from the public limelight for two days.
The Knut officials also said without their representatives at the negotiations, a quorum would not be reached making the current committee incomplete.
The giant teachers union dismissed the State offer as deceitful and mischievous and insisted on the Sh47 billion needed to settle allowances under the disputed 1997 deal.
“How do you stagger Sh2,990 for two years?” posedKnut Secretary General Mudzo Nzili.“The monetary value of what we are being offered would have dropped,” he added.
But in a sign the teachers might not get the Sh47 billion, which they are clamouring for, TSC Secretary Gabriel Lengoiboni said yesterday’s deal was a consolidation of the demands by the two unions.
“TSC is an employer of all teachers, whether they are members of Kuppet or Knut. The deal is cross cutting for all teachers in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions,” said Mr Lengoibon.
Knut have insisted they want a house allowance at a rate of 50 per cent of their basic salary, medical allowance of 20 per cent of their basic salary as well as harmonisation of commuter allowance.
But according to the new deal, basic salary, house allowance, annual leave allowances as well as responsibility allowance for school administrators in Job Group L and above will be negotiated in future.
Lengoiboni reiterated that the Commission has instructed county Directors of Education to take disciplinary action against teachers who shall abscond duty even as he emphasised that June salaries will only be disbursed to teachers who have returned to work
The strong-arm tactics authorities have employed to try to break the crippling teachers’ strike have been futile, as public schools remained shut for the 19th day today.
Prof Kaimenyi yesterday admitted the strike that has paralysed learning across the country has indeed affected the academic calendar.
By FELIX OLICK, The Standard