The Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) has asked its members with diplomas and degrees to submit their employer acknowledgment letters to its offices to enable it to build a strong case at the ongoing conciliation meeting with the Ministry of Labour and the Teachers Service Commission (TSC).
In a circular to members, Secretary-General, Mr Wilson Sossion, said the union is happy that the Career Progression Guidelines were scrapped, and that teachers will now be promoted according to their code of regulations and the 2017-2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement.
The union has also advised all teachers who were forcibly delocalised to appeal to the TSC.
“TSC has been given up to February 15 to review all cases, and no teacher who seeks a review will be victimised, harassed or intimidated in any way” he assured the teachers, adding that they should send copies of their appeals to the union’s headquarters.
“Knut has established a desk specifically to handle the same,” he added.
Last week, the court set aside the transfers of Knut branch officials beyond the geographical limits of the branches they are serving.
Mr Sossion asked the officials transferred to submit their particulars to the union by January 8.
The TSC has been forced to consider the union’s views following an order by the Labour court last Wednesday that it hold discussions with the teachers union, which it appeared to have shunned.
Before the court directive, Knut and the commission were engaged in a war of might, with each side digging in, a situation that threatened to paralyse the reopening of schools for first term. Over the last year, the TSC and Knut have been involved in a battle as they sought to streamline the teaching profession.
Sources revealed to the Nation that even as negotiations were going on, TSC was working behind the scenes to ensure that teachers were compelled to go to class when schools reopened, and that all transferred heads reported to their new stations, a move the Knut leadership viewed as dictatorship.
Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed also had to step in and assure parents that the government was working to ensure schools reopened as scheduled.
According to TSC, the four issues under discussion are purely administrative and policy in nature, and do not qualify to be considered labour disputes.
The commission says the transfers, promotions and the performance appraisal, which the teachers question, are in their code of regulations.
It also argues that the matters in dispute cut across the entire public service sector, and are not unique to teachers
Knut, for its part, says the issues affecting teachers must be negotiated and agreed upon.