Cotu wades into pay dispute between teachers and TSC
The umbrella trade unions’ agency has waded into the controversy over the teachers’ payroll and called for an urgent meeting to resolve the salary dispute.
Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) Wednesday wrote to Labour Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui, asking him to convene a meeting to discuss discriminatory promotions and salary increase by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC).
Cotu Secretary-General Francis Atwoli via the letter expressed concerns over the worsening industrial dispute between Knut and TSC that needs to be resolved once and for all.
He argued that “Indeed if left unaddressed, the situation is likely to degenerate into a serious threat to the country’s industrial peace,”
At the same time, Knut Wednesday asked the TSC to stop sowing unnecessary confusion on the execution of the 2017-2021 collective bargaining agreement (CBA) pay structure by seeking to abolish the recognition of teachers’ new academic qualifications.
Knut Secretary-General Wilson Sossion said attempting to abolish the Schemes of Service as the basis for promotion is an attempt to abolish recognition of new academic qualifications, which teachers have attained after spending a lot of their resources on studies.
“The commission should not sneak in the Career Progression Guidelines, which have been nullified by the Employment and Labour Relations Court, but should promote teachers using the Code of Regulations for Teachers,” he told reporters Wednesday at the Knut headquarters in Nairobi.
Sossion said the commission was given Sh54 billion to pay all teachers and increase their salaries but has been using illegal ways to discriminate against Knut members.
Knut treasurer John Matiang’i said the fight between the TSC and the union should not involve teachers.“It is so heartbreaking to see innocent teachers suffering and being discriminated against by the employer who is using illegal documents,”
The legislator called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to convene a meeting between the two parties. He also accused TSC chief executive Nancy Macharia of plotting to kill Knut by aiding the formation of splinter unions.
“We cannot have an employer who uses bloggers to incite teachers to leave Knut and cripple operations of the union,” said Matiang’i. At the time of signing the CBA, Sossion said only the Schemes of Service existed, but TSC developed the Career Progression Guidelines independently and started implementing them illegally.
The schemes of service are provided for in the Teachers’ Code of Regulations and cited in the CBA. According to the regulations, teachers should be promoted on merit and ability as reflected in their work, performance and results.
The commission is also required to consider the period of time served by the teacher and their academic qualifications.