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Why Knut has opened a fresh war front over employer rules



Knut yesterday issued a 14-day ultimatum to the teachers’ employer after a dispute that could disrupt learning in public schools.

Schools are expected to open on January 2.

The ultimatum comes after four years of labour peace and threatens to open fresh wars between Kenya National Union of Teacher (Knut) and the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), the employer.

The union which has 300,000 members has in the past 10 months engaged in a push and pull wrangle over policies and directives by Teachers Service Commission.

Earlier this year, TSC introduced a performance gauging tool that would be core in guiding promotions and assess quality of learning.

The teachers employer also introduced the delocalisation policy that saw teachers posted outside their home counties.

Knut seeks withdrawal of delocalisation policy, suspension of Teacher Professional Development (TPD), and withdrawal of Teacher Performance and Appraisal Development (TPAD) and Performance Contracting (PC).

Read: TSC targets thousands of teachers in third phase of transfers

According to Knut secretary general Wilson Sossion, TSC should revert a promotion criteria adopted earlier this year to accommodate those who attained higher qualifications and use schemes of work to attain quality teaching.

TSC denied claims of pending promotions. Knut estimates about 30,000 teachers are yet to be promoted. “Promotion is a right of teachers, thus cannot be taken away. ILO standards requires it is maintained or enhanced,” he added.

The union terms the new policies a hindrance against quality teaching and learning in schools.

When contacted, TSC head of communication Kahumba Kimotho said they will respond in due course.

It wants TSC to withdraw all circulars which were crafted without their involvement before January 2 which also happens to be the official school opening date. According to a report by the education ministry, TSC has in the past one year developed and reviewed 21 policies.

An announcement by TSC on transfer of 3,094 teachers on Tuesday further added fuel on the brawl that is now escalating to a stand off.

“We hereby issue a clear notice to TSC that we will resort to industrial action with effect from January,” Sossion said.

Read: Mass teacher transfer ruins marriages, sex lives — Knut

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