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Knut Opposes TSC Act Amendment Bill, Declines to Attend Stakeholders Meeting

Knut Opposes TSC Act Amendment Bill, Declines to Attend Stakeholders Meeting.

Knut Opposes TSC Act Amendment Bill, Declines to Attend Stakeholders Meeting

Knut Secretary General Collins Oyuu claimed their input in the draft had been avoided from the onset.

The Kenya National Union of Teachers has said it will not attend a meeting set to take place between the union and the Teachers Service Commission slated for Wednesday at the Kenya School of Government.

TSC and Knut were to hold a stakeholder engagement forum on the TSC Act Amendment Bill.

Knut Secretary General Collins Oyuu claimed their input in the draft had been avoided from the onset.

Oyuu on Tuesday said the TSC Act amendment draft which is in the public domain does not serve the interests of the teachers.

He said the amendment proposes that basic education starts from primary, junior secondary, senior secondary and teacher training institutions.

“Basic education begins from ECDE. The envisioned education reforms capture basic education as PPI to Grade 9 as Comprehensive Schools the Senior School,” he said.

Oyuu said any changes TSC makes ought to involve the union.

“Knut is not the public on matters teachers. We are not the public, we are stakeholders and any change must involve us fully. You can not just give us a draft and expect feedback in two days,” he said.

Oyuu also faulted the draft for not clarifying who is to pay for teachers’ training and capacity-building programs.

He said the role of professional and capacity building be done by the government through a professional body like the Law Society of Kenya and not TSC and the cost be met by the government.

Further, he noted that in the draft, TSC proposes determining the remuneration of teachers without involving unions and the advice of SRC which violates Article 230 of the Constitution.

In TSC’s proposal, the Commission seeks to discipline teachers without being bound by strict rules of evidence as envisioned by Article 50 of the Kenya Constitution on fair hearing.

“TSC is not above the law,” Oyuu said.

Oyuu also faulted TSC for being silent on teachers’ pensions which he said delayed greatly. He said some teachers even die before receiving their pensions.

“TSC is silent on handling teacher pension which has been the biggest problem affecting retiring teachers, we expected that TSC will streamline management of teacher pension and make it a department within TSC,” he said.

In the draft amendment, TSC also proposed to collect data on teachers from all sources and manage the data according to their own rules,

Oyuu termed it as a violation of both the Data Protection Act 2019 and the Constitution.

He also faulted the draft amendment by TSC which proposes that it will review its decisions on its motions which Oyuu said is a violation of Article 10 of the Constitution on public participation.

Additionally, Oyuu noted that the Commission has been disciplining teachers, hearing their appeals and therefore making it all unto themselves.

“Once a teacher is interdicted and appears before the Commission then they are dismissed, they are required to appeal to the same panel that dismissed them. Can there be a different outcome from that?” Oyuu posed.

Thus, he said there is a need to have a joint TSC-Knut review committee that shall identify cases that deserve review, and then an appeals tribunal be formed to hear the teachers

“This independent appeals tribunal headed by a neutral judge of the high court will serve teachers better,” he said.

He also said some parts of the drafted amendment were not clear.

“TSC proposes to form new staffing norms which are not clear, this may re-introduce aspects such as delocalization which are punitive. We have seen delocalization lead to broken families as teachers are sent far away from their homes,” Oyuu said.

Oyuu said the Commission also proposes to regulate its practice and procedure.

He termed it as unconstitutional “as it goes against article 249 (2) of the constitution.”

Oyuu called for a special engagement meeting with the Commission to address the issues within seven days.

“We are requesting a special engagement with the Commission within seven days as senior stakeholders where we shall share our contribution from the draft,” he said.

“We know TSC spent quality time on developing proposals for amendments, why should Knut, a central stakeholder only take 2 days?”

Employment News

Knut Opposes TSC Act Amendment Bill, Declines to Attend Stakeholders Meeting.

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