9 August 2018

Kenya: The Truth Behind KNUT's Exam Term Strike Threat

A total of 82 officials of the giant Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) have been transferred in the ongoing delocalisation policy by the Teachers Service Commission, it has emerged.

Enraged by the transfers, which have crippled its activities in some regions, the union has declared it will call for a national teachers strike on September 1.

"The policy on delocalisation has adversely affected over 82 union officials. We see this as an affront to the union and its structures. How do you expect an elected official of a branch to serve if he has been delocalised outside his area of representation? It is impossible. We want such delocalisation rescinded forthwith," says Knut secretary-general Wilson Sossion in a letter to TSC chief executive Nancy Macharia.

WAGED WAR

The transferred officials include branch treasurers, assistant executive secretaries, chairmen, woman representatives and branch executive committee members across the country.

Also affected by the policy that the TSC begun implementing in December last year are officials from Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet), Kenya Primary School Heads Association (Kepsha) officials and those from the Kenya Secondary School Heads Association (Kessha).

So far, a total of 1,065 principals out 8,900 have been moved.

While Kuppet, Kepsha and Kessha have not queried the transfers of their officials, Knut has waged war with the TSC and declared it will disrupt learning in the third term through a national strike.

PROMOTIONS

Mrs Macharia recently said there will be no more transfers this year in order to allow school heads to take charge of national examinations scheduled for between late October and November.

Knut has accepted a TSC invitation for a meeting on August 21, to discuss promotion of teachers who have attained higher academic qualifications and the implementation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (2017-2021.)

Kuppet has made it clear it will not take part in a strike because the contentious issues can be resolved through negotiations.

Mrs Macharia in a report to the National Assembly's Education Committee last week defended the transfers, saying they were within the commission's mandate.

PERFORMANCE

In addition to the transfers, Knut has also been opposed to a new appraisal system for teachers and performance contracting for principals introduced by the TSC last year. Significantly, these policies are part of the CBA signed between Knut, Kuppet and TSC and which has been registered at the labour ministry.

But speaking in Kisii on Wednesday during a branch AGM meeting, Mr Sossion maintained that the strike plan would go on unless the commission agrees to promote teachers who have recently attained higher educational qualifications, get rid of performance contracting, introduce a better health insurance for all teachers and shelve the transfers.

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