Thousands of teachers in low job groups are expected to be the main beneficiaries as negotiations between Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and Kenya Union of Post Primary Education teachers (KUPPET) kicked off in Naivasha.
TSC and Kuppet exuded confidence of arriving at an early agreement for the 2021-25 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) that seeks to raise the teachers’ salary by 70 percent.
The government, according to the TSC chief executive Nancy Macharia, has set aside Sh54 billion to improve the welfare of teachers.
Addressing the press in Naivasha, Ms Macharia said that the funds would address the issue of salary increment, promotion and employment of more teachers.
“We have decided to enter into negotiations with teachers in advance and we are optimistic that we shall arrive at an agreement in the coming days,” she said.
The TSC boss said that the country faces a shortage of 100,000 teachers, adding that plans are underway to employ 5,000 tutors and 10,000 interns.
“The government is committed to improving the welfare of teachers and has set Sh54 billion for this even as we introduce the Competence Based Curriculum (CBC),’ she said.
Macharia was full of praise for the country’s teachers, assuring that the government was committed to reducing their workload by employing more personnel.
On his part, Kuppet Secretary-General Akelo Misori said that they were keen for a 70 percent increase for teachers in low cadres and 30 percent for head teachers.
On the first day of the negotiations, Misori said that the issue of promotions is still a thorn in flesh as thousands of teachers have stagnated at one job group.
“Today we are just laying the ground, but we are optimistic that by Thursday we shall have the way forward in changing positively the lives of our teachers,” he said.
Mr Misori said that they were keen to have teachers house allowance harmonised and their leave allowances addressed.
Kuppet national chairman Omboko Milemba said that TSC would be taking them through a raft of issues that had not been addressed in the previous CBA.
He identified some of the issues as stagnated promotions, failure to pay risk allowances for science teachers, township allowance and mortgage scheme which was withdrawn by the State.
“The issue of car loans and harmonised house allowance shall also be discussed as part of our negotiations and we hope there shall be white smoke by Thursday,” he said.