TSC to teachers: Listen to Sossion at your own peril

By Daniel Psirmoi | Sunday, Sep 2nd 2018 at 21:28
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The teachers' employer has accused their unions of misleading them.

In a statement, the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) said the secretary general of the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut), Wilson Sossion (pictured), and other unions had misled teachers that an agreement had been reached for 30,000 teachers to be promoted after a meeting between the union and TSC on August 24.

“The commission wishes to restate that it has not made any promise to Knut on promotion of 30,000 teachers or any other number. In fact as of now there are no due promotions that are pending,” said the commission.

During the lengthy deliberations, both TSC and Knut agreed to defer all issues to September 28, when the two parties will start a five-day retreat to comprehensively address all the issues arising from the implementation of the collective bargaining agreement.

In the meeting that was postponed, issues that were addressed included career progression, teacher transfer, the appraisal programme and promotion.

In the statement signed by Kihumba Kamotho, the commission’s head of corporate communications, besides being accused of repeatedly distorting facts on the meeting, Sossion was said to be inciting teachers to defy their employer on issues such as transfers and appraisals.

Key mandates

“Teacher transfer is one of TSC’s key mandates provided under Article 237(2) of the Constitution. Union officials who have been misleading teachers on this issue should be ignored. Teachers who fail to proceed on transfer as directed will be dealt with in accordance with the Code of Regulations,” it warned.

The commission defended the transfers, noting that they were meant to ensure equity in distribution of teachers and optimal utilisation of the available tutors.

However, TSC said appeals by those who did not want to be moved would be treated on a case-by-case basis. The commission added that this would only be done after the teacher has taken up the transfer.

Last week, during the Masaba North Knut branch annual general meeting in Nyamira County, mr Sossion and the union’s national treasurer, John Matiang'i, accused TSC of rolling out the teacher performance and appraisal programme without consulting the union.

In the statement, TSC said the programme would continue as it was firmly anchored in the commission’s Act and the Teachers Code of Regulations.

The commission reminded teachers that they could only take directives from TSC.

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