MANDATE OURS, SAYS TSC

Teachers' transfer row: TSC tells Knut off

The commission said that role is exclusively bestowed on it by the provisions of the constitution.

In Summary

• Submitting before Justice Byrum Ongaya the commission said Knut has no legal right to demand to be involved by the commission in the transfer of teachers.

• The commission further submitted that any attempt to stop performance measurement as championed by Knut would be unconstitutional and in direct conflict with public finance law.

TSC CEO Nancy Macharia
TSC CEO Nancy Macharia
Image: FILE

The Teachers Service Commission has said it cannot take direction from the Kenya National Union of Teachers when transferring teachers.  

While submitting before Justice Byrum Ongaya the commission said Knut has no legal right to demand to be involved by the commission in the transfer of teachers.

Through lawyer Timon Oyucho, the commission said that role is exclusively bestowed on it by the provisions of the constitution.

“TSC is constitutionally shielded from interference by any external institution or authority,” the commission said.

The commission further submitted that any attempt to stop performance measurement as championed by Knut would be unconstitutional and in direct conflict with public finance law.

The court heard that performance management tools are prerogatives of any employer to measure the productivity of employees and cannot be stopped.

“It is against known labour practice world over for employees to dictate to the employer how they wish or ought to have their performance evaluated,” Oyucho said. 

The TSC filed the case last year after teachers threatened to down their tools because of unresolved issues between it and the teachers' union.

The issues were about promotions, transfers, performance contracting and professional development modules.

Knut had claimed in May last year that the commission had introduced new guidelines to promote teachers without consultations. 

“If there's any need to amend the current content of CBA, discussions should be held in our presence and see whether there's merit,” it said. 

Yesterday, Knut told the court that it is not opposed to transfers or to any such deployment by the commission of teachers as it is their mandate.  

But it said while TSC undertakes the transfers, it should be considerate as the policy being implemented had failed to achieve the intended objectives.

Knut claimed that that teachers who are not generally interested in administrative roles have been compelled to take them. 

“The programme bullies, harasses and intimidates teachers by compelling them to work in environments that they are not prepared to, leading to low teacher productivity and poor curriculum coverage. We urge you to dismiss the petition by TSC,” Knut said.     

Court will deliver its judgement on July 12.

(edited by O. Owino)