The controversial delocalization policy for teachers has been repealed even as Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) urges TSC to review the grading system for teachers and the sensitize them on the same for familiarity.
This was revealed during a media briefing by the union Secretary General Collins Henry Oyuu recently which was meant to shed light on topical issues that were addressed during the Naivasha retreat with employer Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and possible solutions and further updates them on the progress of relationship between the union and TSC.
According to Oyuu the current position is that the policy has been repealed and they are cognizant of the challenges some of their members are facing in their current stations of work occasioned by delocalization, which they are addressing as they come.
“We received many complains from our respected members and took up the matter with the employer head-on. The current position is that the policy has been repealed,” said Mr. Oyuu. As such, Oyuu urges teachers who are still aggrieved by the policy to consult the union for solutions.
Delocalization policy was meant to have teachers transferred to new localities other than their areas of origin or where they have been since they began their teaching career, which the union says has not fared well with teachers.
The KNUT boss maintains the union’s proposal shall and will continue to be that teachers to be properly sensitized on their positions within the grading system, since TSC hasn’t quite invested in sensitizing teachers on the same, with most teachers being stuck between the old grading system and the new one since very little has been done by the employer.
He observed that the current grading of teachers is quite unfamiliar to them and if possible, the grading should be made clearer like it used to be in the past that is, the B5, C1, C2, C3, C4, C5, D1, D2, D3, D4, D5 versus the job groups G, J, K, L, M, N, P, Q and T5 to T15 grading
The Naivasha retreat which was held between July 7, 2022 and July 9, 2022 was aimed at ensuring that both parties are familiar with the current challenges in the teaching profession and how they intend to address them moving forward.
Among other issues that were deliberated during the retreat include review of the current grading structure of teachers, involvement of stakeholders on Teachers’ Induction Mentorship and Coaching (TIMEC) implementation policy, review of 2021-2025 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), and placing of Curriculum Support Officers at the TSC Secretariat in order to motivate them.
“We must also very sincerely and from the bosom of our hearts thank the employer for accepting to have a round table discussion with them; that which we have not had for the longest time in the recent history,” said Oyuu.
The KNUT Secretary General opines that lack of sensitization of teachers by the Commission has also led to lack of information on requirement for promotion of teachers, notably from a classroom teacher to an administrative position, which are positions based on interviews depending on the grade a teacher holds.
Oyuu used a case study witnessed on July 19, 2022 involving 1, 011 teachers nationally who were appointed Senior Graduate Teachers Job Group (JG) ‘M’ Grade C5, and deployed as Head teachers before the signing of the 2017-2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) who have remained in the same grade without their salaries being adjusted with same teachers who were or are A-level teachers.
“Their colleagues in the Secondary section in the same grade have so far been moved to D1 and are on a clear upward trend as these ones continue to wait for this elusive matter to be effected. This is demotivating and uncalled for. It is our considered standpoint that these teachers and many others suffering from such discrimination be served well by the employer,” he said.
On review of the non-monetary 2021-2025 CBA, Oyuu stated that the union has commenced a structured negotiation with the TSC to see that 60 per cent salary rise is awarded to teachers.
“This time round we put it squarely and barely that teachers have an irreducible minimum demand that the 2021-2025 CBA be reviewed to earn teachers money! Teachers want money and not stories,” said Oyuu.
Oyuu stated further that the union is requesting TSC to involve stakeholders in the implementation of TIMEC policy which means well to teachers and the education sector as a whole, but may be unacceptable due to the manner and way it is being implemented and whose roll-out of the same seems to be facing resistance due the Commission’s approach and methodology.
The policy is intended to coach teachers in life-long outcomes of mental wellness and alternative dispute resolution mechanisms in efforts to reduce spillage and casualties through disciplinary processes.
On CSOs the union proposed that they be placed at the TSC secretariat with full privileges and advantages that will motivate them to work even harder, since they play a very key role in the implementation of Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) on the ground; but are frustrated about where exactly they are placed as the staff of TSC.