Knut opposes appraisals, threatens TSC with strike

Mr Sossion said the contracts could deny teachers opportunities like promotions.

Sunday February 21 2016

Knut national Secretary-General Wilson Sossion addresses teachers at Mumias Central Primary School on February 6, 2016 during the union's elections. Mr Sossion said the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) had not consulted the union or its members on the appraisal of teachers. PHOTO | ISAAC WALE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Knut national Secretary-General Wilson Sossion addresses teachers at Mumias Central Primary School on February 6, 2016 during the union's elections. Mr Sossion said the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) had not consulted it on the appraisal of teachers. PHOTO | ISAAC WALE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By BRIAN MOSETI
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The teachers’ employer has been given a week to withdraw appraisal and performance contracting for tutors or face a strike.

Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) Secretary-General Wilson Sossion said the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) had not consulted the union or its members on the matter.

“Performance contracting is poison, do not allow it to be imposed on you. We have not discussed it and this is something we feel will destroy the teaching profession,” Mr Sossion said.

He said the union was not opposed to measures that improved the quality of education and service delivery, but insisted that performance contracting was not the best yardstick to measure a teacher’s work.

Mr Sossion said the contracts could deny teachers opportunities like promotions.

He insisted on the 50-60 per cent pay rise granted to teachers, saying the union has given the government two weeks to implement it as directed by the court or they will take industrial action.

“Only strikes seem to work. All we have achieved as teachers was through strikes. We shall strike unless our demands are met,” Mr Sossion said.

He added the union will rally its members and collect one million signatures to kick the TSC commissioners out of office “as they are frustrating teachers”.

READY FOR WAR
Mr Sossion, who was in Kisii for Knut branch elections, said the union had ensured elections were done on time so that teachers could prepare “to go to war”.

“We want to go to war to ensure justice for ourselves and protect education,” he said.

Mr Sossion said the Kenyan teacher is the most overworked in sub-Saharan Africa and morale is low.

He said the government is joking by offering to employ 5,000 teachers while Nigeria recently it is hiring 500,000.

Teachers and their employer have been at loggerheads since last year’s industrial action over a pay dispute that paralysed learning in public schools for five weeks.

Mr Sossion told the union’s 110 branch executive secretaries to ensure teachers do not participate in the appraisals until after the TSC has talked to the union.

The appraisals are meant to improve the quality of education in public schools, the TSC has said.

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