Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) has opposed the transfer of 4,700 tutors to the public service, setting the stage for a fresh standoff with the government.
The union said moving Technical and Vocational Training (TVET) tutors from the Teachers Service Commission payroll to that of Public Service Commission “is suspect, strange, unprocedural, devastating, and pathetic”.
The tutors have been moved to the PSC effective July 1 in what Principal Secretary Kevit Desai said would enable the segment to sidestep the TSC’s tough hiring requirements.
“The move is being implemented without due consultation with the main shareholders like Knut who have a huge membership in the TVET sub-sector,” said Knut secretary-general Wilson Sossion in a letter dated July 17 to TSC chief executive Nancy Macharia. “Any move made or decision reached without the involvement of Knut is null and void.”
He cited Article 41(5) of the Constitution and Section 12(1) of the Labour Relations Act that give unions the right to enter into an agreement on industrial matters.
TVET teachers are already enjoying the benefits accrued from the 2017/21 collective bargaining agreement signed between Knut and the TSC.
Mr Sossion warned against tampering with the CBA, which, among other things, talks of consultation between the union and the TSC on teacher welfare and professional growth.
However, Dr Desai said the tutors have been moved after a deal between TSC and PSC in order to comply with the TVET Act 2013.