Teachers are now calling for the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to address the issues of salary increment and delocalization policy.
This comes as TSC Commissioners embark on a countrywide collection of views from stakeholders in the teaching service in a bid to steer service re-engineering.
Teachers want the Commission to stop the delocalization policy and transfer those affected back to their home counties.
Teachers also want TSC to give them a payrise to cushion them against the high inflation and high food prices.
This was revealed yesterday when the Commissioners visited the Eastern and Rift Valley regions to collect views from teachers.
The Commissioners are moving from one region to another collecting views on everything about teachers, secretariat staff work environment, workability of policies and what need to be reviewed regarding the service.
Yesterday the TSC Chairman Dr Jamleck Muturi led the Commissioners in engaging teachers and other stakeholders in Rift Valley and Eastern Regions.
In a circular dated June 16th, 2022 signed by the Director of Administrative Services Ibrahim Mumin, the Commission had asked all Regional and County Directors to collect information from staff in all sub-counties, key stakeholders and teachers within their jurisdiction on how the Commission can improve its service delivery on its functions and critical business.
The Circular, which was also copied to the Commission Secretary and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. Nancy Macharia, gave the TSC Regional and County Directors up to June 29th, 2022 to complete the exercise.
The identified functions and critical business processes that the Commission identified as critical to its operations and which views are supposed to be collected include; registration, recruitment, transfer and promotion of teachers; adjustment of payroll on promotion, payment of arrears, management of teacher discipline (determination and review), processing of benefits on exit from service, review of teaching standards, enforcement and compliance, customer experience and handling of complaints.
Salary talks and reviewing CBA
The Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) led by its secretary general, Collins Oyuu, were in talks with TSC before the elections which were aimed at revising the CBA 2021 – 2025 to include monetary terms.
However the talks were suspended and both TSC and Knut said the talks will be concluded after the August general elections.
“We cannot sit back and watch when teachers cannot put food on the table. We will have cordial dialogue with TSC to ensure they heed our demands. We have started the process with the outgoing government and we shall have it finalized by the new government after the August polls,” said Oyuu
Oyuu said the meeting in Naivasha with TSC pushed for teachers’ monetary gain which was agreed through structured talks.
TSC was in a series of meetings with Knut from Tuesday 5th to Friday 8th July 2022 to strike a deal on salary increment for teachers among other issues.
TSC and Knut are yet to revive the salary talks after Dr. William Ruto was sworn in as the fifth President of Kenya.
The issue of delocalization is a hot potatoe with various teachers unions calling for its termination.
The Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) together with Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) have called on President Ruto’s government to scrap off the teacher delocalization policy without a second.
According to the union officials the programme is harmful and affecting teachers and their families and that the government should abolish it.
The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) introduced the policy five years ago saying it will enhance national cohesion.
However the programme has received backlash from teachers and their unions who are now calling for its abolishment.
West Pokot Knut secretary Martin Sembelo said the delocalisation policy has impacted negatively on the performance of learners in every county and has jeopardized learning in schools.
“Policies introduced by TSC are harmful. Teachers are doing a lot of work instead of teaching in class. Delocalisation is the worst thing we have ever experienced. It has created disharmony in families, some couples separated and died mysteriously. A man cannot teach in Eldoret while his wife is in Mombasa. Issues of infidelity will crop up. We want an education system where teachers are comfortable and produce good results. Let teachers teach in their home counties,” he said.
Knut, Kuppet and Kusnet yesterday asked also the government to include them in the planned Competence Based Curriculum (CBC) taskforce announced by President William Ruto.
“Kuppet welcomes President Ruto’s decision to create a taskforce to review, assess or guide the implementation of CBC. Towards that end, the union has written to the Ministry of Education demanding the inclusion of teachers’ unions in the body,” said Kuppet secretary general Mr Akelo Misori.
Key among the issues that teachers want to be addressed by the committee are teacher preparedness, the double-intake in secondary schools in 2023, and parental engagement in the curriculum.
In a recent interview Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua said that the Kenya Kwanza government will look into teachers salaries and delocalization policy deeply.
The DP also said that their government will have a forum with teachers to air their issues and how they would want them addressed.
He promised an end to the teachers delocalization policy which he says it is destroying families.
“We are where we are because our teachers played an important role in our earlier life. Delocalization…. is a problem it has destabilized teachers families,” said the DP.
The President William Ruto, has in the previous talked about the policy which is affecting many teachers and how his government will deal with it.
Ruto said he will stop teachers being forced to work outside their home counties. Currently the TSC has a plan to post and transfer teachers to work in counties away from their homes.
He said delocalization of teachers will be done at will with allocation of hardship allowance to teachers who will take part in it.
According to TSC policy, teachers working in North Eastern region are required to have completed at least three years before they are transferred back to their home counties.
Teachers in other regions are required to work for at least five years before they are considered for transfer to their homes.
“The teacher must have served in a station for a period of not less than three years and five years for North Eastern and other areas respectively since first appointment; unless otherwise authorized by the Commission’s Secretary,” read the new guidelines in part.
However Dr Ruto said only those teachers who are willing will be delocalized. Again those who will be delocalized will be paid for it.
Ruto said he will abolish the delocalisation policy by the TSC and replace it with a programme that will acknowledge that teachers are a national resource.
He said teachers will be at liberty to choose the counties and schools they want to work for. He promised to convert the current Teachers Management Institute to the Kenya School of Education to better manage the learning institutions.
“The domesticated teacher recruitment and deployment at entry-level will be per the UNESCO teacher deployment practice which treats education as culture process conducted within a people’s culture context at the local level,” he said.
The Commission has continued to delocalize teachers with the latest being the newly recruited teachers who started to be posted this month.