Knut insists strike on as TSC denies promotion report

TSC CEO Nancy Macharia.
Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has denied reports that it promised to promote 30,000 teachers during a consultative meeting with Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut).

At the same time, Knut maintained that the strike action is still on pending a second meeting scheduled next week to iron out the contentious labour issues.

In two separate statements to newsrooms, the two parties however stated that the daylong consultative meeting held Thursday was successful.

Both Knut and TSC say that they discussed promotions of teachers among other items but deny a deal was reached to move staff to higher grades.

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“There are no pending cases of promotion as all promotions are effected when due, and within the framework of the 2017-2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA),” TSC said in a statement.

The teachers’ employer explained that during the meeting with Knut, there were no discussions of pending promotions.

“It is therefore misleading to teachers for anybody to appear to be committing TSC on promotion of teachers outside the CBA framework and the existing policy. It only creates unnecessary anxiety unwarranted expectations,” said Kihumba Kamotho, TSC head of communication.

The statement further said that a retreat will be held between September 30 and October 5 to deliberate further on the matters discussed.

Knut secretary general Wilson Sossion said that even through the meeting discussed all matters affecting teachers, no agreement was arrived at to warrant calling of the strike.

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“KNUT would like to categorically state that the Union has not vacated its position on the proposed strike as the power of calling off the strike rests with the National Executive Council (NEC). And by extension, the strike will only be called off after TSC successfully addresses the fore-mentioned issues,” said Sossion.

He said that TSC and Knut mutually agreed to form a Monitoring and Evaluation Committee which will work on the finer details of the contentious issues.

The issues he said  include withdrawal of all circulars which were crafted without the involvement of KNUT, withdrawal of Teacher Delocalization policy, suspension of Teacher Professional Development, delayed teacher promotions, and more importantly, withdrawal of Teacher Performance and Appraisal Development (TPAD) and Performance Contracting (PC).

“KNUT stresses that all teachers in the Public Service should not entertain TPAD/PC or any policy that will undermine or demean the teaching profession,” SAID Sossion.

The statement marked a strong point of departure with TSC, which insisted that the policies were strongly in force.

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“All TSC programmes including Teacher Appraisal System popularly known as TPAD will continue to be in place,” said TSC.

The clarification came as TSC met Kenya Secondary School Heads Association (Kessha) and Kenya Primary School Heads Association (Kepsha) on the contentious professional issues.

Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) also met the employer to discuss movement of the 3, 700 teachers from TSC to TVET payroll.

Kuppet also discussed promotions, start of new CBA talks that demands renegotiation of house allowance, risk and leave allowances.

Knut has however written to TSC cautioning the employer against discussing trade union issues with Kepsha and Kessha.

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In a letter dated August 22, Knut demands an immediate withdrawal of the invitation letter by TSC to Kessha officials.

“We thus demand your immediate recall of the invitation letter to Kessha and engage with relevant entities known and recognised in law,” said Sossion in the letter.

And today, Sossion threw another caution: “We call on TSC not to engage non-parties to the CBA in labour matters, for instance KESSHA and KEPSHA as industrial issues are not within their purview,” Sossion said.

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KnutTSCTeachers Service CommissionTeachers' Strike