• Meru KNUT branch head calls for urgent dialogue.
• Teachers demoralised and can't afford to lose the money
Meru KNUT branch executive secretary Caxton Miungi has accused the Teachers Service Commission of battling with the union at the expense of teachers’ welfare.
Speaking to the media in Imenti Central subcounty, Miungi said urgent dialogue was needed between the two parties entrusted with teachers' welfare and career progression to address thorny issues.
Miungi said TSC and the union were autonomous but interdependent entities. Neither has the moral authority to undermine or rule over the other, thus subjecting teachers to suffering.
The TSC is withholding a portion of the salaries of some KNUT teachers because a court struck down parts of policies that came in with the new CBA, increasing salaries
“KNUT has already extended an olive branch to the TSC calling for dialogue to address issues likely to compromise the education sector without any form of chest-thumping,” Miungi said.
He regretted that the TSC's decision to recover money from teachers was not well-thought-out and said it should be revoked and the status quo maintained.
The whole issue should be subjected to due process before a final decision is made, Miungi said.
“The TSC cannot claim not to have been brought on board for participation before the endorsement of the CBA, which led to teacher administrators being upgraded and paid accordingly,” Miungi said.
Echoing the KNUT official’s sentiments, Kenya Primary School Heads Association chairman, Bernard Kiragu said the move to recover from the teachers was demoralisation of the highest order.
Kiragu said most of the affected headteachers had been transferred far from their homes and families and may not be able to report to their schools when they open for the third term on September 2.
He said as soon as teachers noticed an additional amount in their payslips, most of them moved into commercial banks and other money lending institutions to obtain money to implement development projects to better their future.
He asked how a teacher who had already invested in an ongoing project with the money was expected to withstand the storm being caused by the recovery.
Kiragu appealed to the TSC to reconsider its decision, bearing in mind that most of the affected teachers held administrative positions.
"Nobody in their right senses would want any form of disruption during the third term because of the forthcoming national examinations," he said.
“How does our employer expect us to manage national examinations for credible and fair results while working under such heavy financial stress?” Kiragu asked.
(Edited by V. Graham)