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Teachers’ employer faces MPs wrath over dialogue with Knut

By People Reporter
Tuesday, September 8th, 2020
Teachers Service Commission chief executive officer Nancy Macharia. Photo/PD/File
In summary

Teachers Service Commission (TSC) is on the spot for defying a directive by Members of Parliament over dialogue with the Kenya National Union of Teachers over contentious issues.

TSC faces the wrath of MPs for defying a directive from a House committee, to implement a raft of proposals that would have seen it mend fences with Knut.

Parliament had directed the teachers’ employer to negotiate with Knut and the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet), in a bid to settle a long-standing dispute over the implementation of the 2017-19 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) and a controversial parallel payroll system.

Delicate issue

Parliament had also directed TSC  to reinstate 130,000 teachers removed from the teachers’ union register and to transfer members’ dues owed to Knut. It had also proposed that TSC ends discrimination in promotions against Knut members.

An MP who is a member of the committee who declined to be named disclosed that the committee was considering applying some unspecified sanctions against TSC and its boss Nancy  Macharia.

Macharia declined to comment on the issue yesterday, only insisting that all their decisions are strictly in line with the TSC Act. 

A CBA that runs into 2021 which had excluded Knut members, ought to have been applied equally to all teachers regardless of union membership. 

As a result of failing to implement the directive, the National Assembly’s Departmental Committee on Education has summoned TSC, Knut and Kuppet tomorrow to discuss the next course of action.

“The meeting will deliberate on the way forward following TSC’s unwillingness to engage in talks to resolve the dispute,” a letter dated August 31, 2020, signed by Jeremiah Ndombi, on behalf of the Clerk of the National Assembly states.

MPs are also disappointed that TSC had earlier turned down a similar directive by the Employment and Labour Relations Court, to remit union dues for Knut members for the month of August.

Yesterday, the chairperson of Education and Research Committee Florence Mutua, confirmed that TSC had ignored their directives.

“It is quite a delicate issue, we are trying to engage both sides with a view of reaching an agreement.

But some of those decisions taken by TSC can be said to have been propelled by arrogance and impunity,” Mutua said.