TSC, union begin talks to end rows
An eight-member team is attending a five-day retreat in Naivasha
Teachers and their employer will today start a five-day retreat in Naivasha to discuss promotions, performance appraisals, among other issues.
The meeting will be attended by an eight-member team, which will also look into the transfer of teachers outside their home counties.
The meeting was organised after teachers threatened to go on strike, and is expected to create a common understanding between the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) on various matters.
Knut Secretary-general Wilson Sossion said yesterday that the union was optimistic that the TSC would address issues that have been raised by teachers, which, he added, were fundamental.
“We want our demands to be met by the TSC so that we can have a conducive environment in the education sector,” said Mr Sossion.
Some of the demands put forward by Knut, include clear guidelines on career progression, which will allow teachers to be promoted across the board.
Knut wants the TSC to withdraw the current guidelines, which became effective on November 8 last year
“The policy is tied to performance contracting, which although not opposed by the union, it has not been carried out within the law and the terms of the CBA and the union is opposed to such a report being utilised for appraisals,” said Mr Sossion.
He lamented that the guidelines had replaced the various schemes of service that existed.
“The issue raised herein affect substantially the terms and conditions of service of the teachers. It is a serious labour issue that the union ought to have been fully involved. Promotion of teachers is provided for in law. It is not a policy issue that can be decided by one party with the exclusion of the other party,” Mr Sossion explained.
“Therefore, replacing the provisions of the guidelines with a policy paper that was not discussed with other shareholders and approved or otherwise agreed upon, is a mockery of the existence of the regulations and shareholders.”
On transfers, Knut wants the policy reviewed. “Delocalisation has occasioned low morale, uncertainties leading to poor performance and adverse effects on families traumatised out of the separation and health deterioration in many reported incidents,” he said. Knut also want the appraisals stopped to allow time to develop new tools.
Knut Secretarygeneral Wison Sossion (right) says the union is optimistic that the TSC will address the issues that have beenraised by teachers.