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Court stops transfer of 4,000 teachers to PSC payroll

By Augustine Oduor | Published Wed, September 19th 2018 at 16:03, Updated September 19th 2018 at 16:07 GMT +3

Court has stopped the transfer of some 4,000 teachers from the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) payroll to Public Service Commission (PSC).

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Employment and Labour Relations Court judge Onesmus Makau issued orders Wednesday to stop the process until the case is heard and determined.

“Conservatory orders be and is hereby granted barring the respondents from transferring services of petitioners from TSC to PSC or removing petitioners from TSC payroll until notice of motion filed is heard on October 1, 2018,” reads the order.

The transfer started in July 1, 2018.

The orders were issued after five teachers moved to court challenging the transfer.

State Department of Vocational and Technical Training Principal Secretary Kevit Desai has been pushing to have the teachers moved to PSC as the Government creates a new service scheme for technical institutions.

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In his argument, Desai said that the competency-based training would attract trainers from the private sector to give the right balance and flexibility.

Ministry argues that TSC recruitment criteria locks out potential trainers.

If Ministry gets its way, all trainers currently teaching in vocational and technical training institutions would no longer be recruited by TSC.

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The trainers are currently sourced, retained and promoted by TSC.

Desai said flexible recruitment and promotions criteria for trainers is part of Ministry effort to create independent structures to promote high-level quality of training.

It also means that the trainers will fall under new remuneration regime. Under the new scheme TVET trainers will only be required to provide their highest qualifications to be hired or promoted.

Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) has openly protested against the transfer of the teachers claiming that the affected staff are its members.

In a letter to TSC Chief Executive Officer Nancy Macharia, Kuppet secretary general Akelo Misori says that the move was ill informed.

“We want to reiterate that TVET teachers are employees of TSC and not any other state agency or commission and any attempt to unilaterally transfer them is illegal, procedural and in blatant breach of the constitution and international labour practices” said Misori.

In their protest letter dated July 3, Kuppet questions whether the Attorney General’s opinion was sought on the transfers and if individual teachers were consulted.

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The union also demanded that the process be subjectew3d to public participation and structured negotiations initiated.

Kuppet national secretary for secondary Edward Obwocha said a proper Memorandum of Understanding drawn before transfer is implemented.

The PS argued that the transfers are part of high-level reforms being undertaken by the Ministry of Education to promote quality assurance and governance of the institutions and to link graduates to small and medium entrepreneurship.

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