, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 8 – The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has now warned that striking teachers will face disciplinary action individually.
TSC chairperson Lydia Nzomo has further instructed County Education Directors to undertake a daily headcount of teachers to ascertain those who boycott work.
“All teachers are reminded that they hold individual work agreements and the employer will deal with them as individual employees of the commission. Teachers who abide by this directive are assured of their security.”
“Any teachers who abide by this directive are assured of their security,” Nzomo told a news conference held after collapsed talks between the government, Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) and the Kenya Union of Post Primary Teachers (KUPPET).
Nzomo hinted that the striking teachers might miss out on their salaries this month.
“The Labour Relations Act is very clear that teachers and even yourselves are paid for the work done so teachers will not have preferential treatment, we expect them to go and work if they expect us to pay them,” she said.
She said teachers’ unions should wait until August when the Salaries and Remuneration Commission completes its job evaluation to determine set pay for teachers.
In an immediate reaction, KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion said: “TSC has just added fuel to the fire by issuing threats against teachers. Teachers deserve better from the employer.”
Sossion said that the government was acting in bad faith, citing the proposed job evaluation is a gimmick to distract them.
He stated that the allowances being proposed are not enough to cater for them.
KNUT further insisted that the strike is still on and pointed out that the tutors will not be intimidated by TSC calls to go back to class or face disciplinary action.
Speaking at the union’s headquarters, Sossion described the statement as misguided since the strike was legal and protected and further enshrined in the constitution as a right of the instructors.
He indicated that the teachers will not be cowed but will soldier on in a bid to fight for their rights the main thing being the component of their basic salaries.
“Our strike is legal and protected. The statement by TSC is cooked and someone should advise them that as the strike progresses day by day will escalate to levels they will live to regret. Teachers also have a right to collective participation,” he stated.
His sentiments were echoed by KNUT Chairman Mudzo Nzili who stated that their demands if met will improve the quality of education in schools.
“We are telling the new head of TSC that she should respect her position and not abuse it. She should not come out issuing statements that are meant to divide us. We as teachers will not be intimidated and will ensure that we fight for our rights to the end,” he cautioned.