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Senators accuse TSC of muzzling tutors

By Hillary Mageka
Friday, October 9th, 2020
Teachers Service Commission chief executive officer Nancy Macharia. Photo/PD/File
In summary

Senators have accused the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) of muzzling teachers’ union by constantly meddling in their affairs and denying them funds to run their activities.

Venting their anger on the floor of the Senate yesterday, the lawmakers also pointed a finger at TSC boss Nancy Macharia who they accused  of not only being biased but also frustrating teachers, a move that has negatively affected their performance.

“TSC is really frustrating teachers’ unions to the point that their deductions, the money that they are supposed to be getting from TSC, is no longer given to them,” Bomet senator Dr. Christopher Lang’at said.

The lawmakers expressed anger with TSC just a day after Teachers Day globally commemorated on Monday.

During the celebrations, Kenya National Teachers of Union (Knut) secretary-general Wilson Sossion narrated the frustrations that the once giant union was undergoing in the hands of the commission.

Sossion, who has had run-ins with the teachers’ employer, pointed an accusing finger  at TSC, accusing it of denying it funds and intimating teachers to leave the union.

“Currently, if you are a member of KNUT, you are not qualified to be promoted with TSC to any administrative position,” Sossion, who is a nominated MP said during the celebrations.

He also faulted the teachers’ employer for gross discrimination by having teachers serving in the same grade, with the same qualifications being remunerated differently on the basis of some being in KNUT and others non-KNUT.

Yesterday, the senators warned TSC that they will not allow it to breakup unions which are formed to champion the welfare of teachers.

The legislators accused the government of reducing tutors to beggars who must always beg or down tools for their concerns to be heard.

“TSC is frustrating unions which have been the custodian of welfare of these teachers.

That is killing the teaching profession. The government of this country must rethink on the welfare of the teachers,” Lang’at, who is a former teacher and lecturer purred.

Nairobi senator Johnson Sakaja, who chairs the House labour committee, said they will not allow TSC to break the teachers’ unions, adding that same is enshrined in the Constitution and Labour laws.

“We want to urge the government to stop trying to break Knut. Teachers need a strong union.

The constitution talks about the right of any worker to unionize to be able to come together to agitate for their rights,” Sakaja said.

 “That is a right that cannot be taken away by trying to starve teachers of funds. That we will resist because it is against the Constitution,” he added.

Kitui senator Enoch Wambua lamented that the government has reduced teachers to beggars despite the important role both in the classroom and in the society.

“The most unfortunate thing about our situation is that our teachers have largely been reduced into almost beggars.

That everything that they are going to get from the government, they have to either beg for it or fight for it,” Wambua  regretted.

Bungoma’s Moses Wetangula urged the government to accept and acknowledge the critical role teacher play in nurturing, developing and growth of children.

“There is not any occasion when teachers get what they deserve until and unless they either threaten to strike or actually strike.

And even if they do that, they end up with half measures being offered to them by successive governments,” the senator said.