Crisis talks begin today to address nine grievances by teachers amid a looming strike that could disrupt the reopening of schools next week. The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has invited secondary school heads for meetings today and Friday to discuss mass transfers and performance appraisals, which are among the disputed issues but teacher promotions is not one of the agendas. It is estimated that 30,000 teachers are yet to be promoted since 2012 with some stuck in the same job group for more than five years. Already TSC made it clear that promotions will no longer be based on diplomas nor degrees after introducing modules which teachers must take for them to be considered for promotions. The modules are mandatory and may kick off from January next year. Teachers are expected to pay for the modules.
The commission will also meet officials of the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) tomorrow and Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) on Friday in efforts to avert a strike that could affect the opening of schools on September 1.
But hopes for a deal hang in the balance as the unions yesterday insisted all their nine demands must be addressed. Knut has listed delocalisation, performance tools, promotions, reinstatement of schemes of service and proposed compulsory career development training for teachers as points of dispute. “These are the irreducible minimums. If they tell us now that they have worked on these ones, we shall not even need meetings like the ones they have called. The strike will be put off immediately,” said Knut Secretary General Wilson Sossion
“We have five key issues for which we sought a meeting with TSC. It is our expectation that they will grant us a hearing and strongly consider for smooth industrial relations in the education sector,” said Kuppet Secretary General Akelo Misori.