Teachers name demands in strike threat

KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion addresses teachers from different sub-counties at Xaverian Primary school in Kisumu on July 28, 2018. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]
Teachers want four policies recently introduced reversed failure to which they will go on strike on September 1.

Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) says it will not accept hiring teachers on contract and delocalisation of head teachers, where school heads work outside their home areas.

Secretary General Wilson Sossion also wants Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to drop Teacher Performance Appraisal and Development as well as career progression schemes.

Sossion, who spoke in Kisumu on Saturday, said these policies were not part of the Collective Bargaining Agreement the union signed with TSC in 2015.

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He accused TSC of making decision unilaterally with the aim of undermining teachers.

Sossion said teachers are opposed to the new policies but Knut is ready to meet TSC to discuss the matter to avert a possible strike.

“Our negotiations were on the salaries. We did not discuss promotions, new scheme of service or delocalisation,” said Sossion.

He added: “All the 82 circulars TSC has issued since we concluded negotiations have dragged teachers’ morale to an all-time low and all of them must be dropped before September.”

Sossion claimed the commission’s communication department was using some teachers to dupe the rest into believing the changes were part of the 2015 negotiations.

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The union to go back to the old system where academic qualifications and experience were used to promote teachers.

New appraisal schemes, he said, do not take cognisance of further education because only output is measured.

“Promotion of teachers must be maintained as contained in the scheme of service. We will fight for this even if it means speak the only language they understand – strike,” said Sossion.

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