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Knut boss threatens strike if TSC fights teacher promotions

Saturday July 13 2019

Sossion at Tenwek

Knut Secretary-General Wilson Sossion talks to Tenwek Boys' High School students after the prize-giving day July, 13, 2019. PHOTO | VITALIS KIMUTAI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

VITALIS KIMUTAI
By VITALIS KIMUTAI
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The Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) now wants 50,000 teachers promoted immediately following a big win after the Labour court set aside new career progression rules guiding their promotions.

Mr Wilson Sossion, the union’s Secretary-General, said on Saturday that the Teachers Service Commission should quickly engage Parliament and secure funds for the promotions.

Mr Sossion said the union was ready to meet the commission to customise the good provisions in the scheme of service.

“We are ready to immediately engage with the TSC on implementation of the promotions and other related issues as directed by the court. We want the teachers' employer to set up a meeting as soon as Monday to discuss how to progress with the matter,” he said.

STRIKE THREAT

The Knut boss warned that should the teachers' employer appeal the ruling by justice Bryam Ongaya, teachers will immediately down their tools in protest.

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“We will not take any sideshows by the commission. We do not want to run teachers’ affairs through other courts as the issues have been settled through the Labour court."

Speaking at Tenwek boys high school in Bomet county, Mr Sossion also demanded that the TSC immediately recall all Knut officials who were transferred from their branches.

“All the Knut branch officials who were identified, marked, and maliciously transferred by the TSC should immediately be returned to the branches,” he said.

THE RULINGS

The Labour court's rulings on Friday marked major victories for Knut in its push for promotions on merit, seniority, vacancies, as well as academic and professional qualifications.

The union had complained that most teachers had remained stuck in one job group for the last five years despite acquiring higher qualification.

Justice Ongaya barred the commission from implementing the current modules of the teacher training development programme, saying they were formed without proper regulations as required by law.

“The TSC will undertake promotions in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Code of Regulations for Teachers and the scheme of service with respect to all unionisable teachers,” he said.

The court also ordered the TSC and Knut to consider reviewing the scheme of service for alignment with structures in the Collective Bargaining Agreement and to ensure the teachers' code of regulations is not breached.

The TSC, which moved to court on January 2, was also unsuccessful in its bid to bar head teachers barred from becoming union members or officials. It also lost in this bid,