Sat. Apr 20th, 2019

Strike blocked TSC & Knut to resume talks

The Labour Court yesterday suspended the teachers’ strike called for today and directed Knut and the Teachers Service Commission to resume conciliation talks.

Justice Byram Ongaya also blocked the transfer branch union officials and allowed the affected teachers to seek review without being victimised. “Pending an agreement on transfer of branch union officials beyond the geographic limits of the branch they are elected to serve, the decision to transfer any such union officials is stayed and as such, transfer beyond the branch territory is now set aside,” Ongaya said in a ruling read for half an hour.

The Judge said promotion of teachers should be made as per the CBA and prevailing regulations on career progression. TSC based the transfers on career progression guidelines which were introduced in May last year. The guidelines are not part of the CBA.

The court ordered Kenya National Union of Teachers officials and their TSC counterparts to attend conciliation proceedings before the committee appointed by Labour CS Ukur Yatani last mnth.

Ongaya directed TSC to determines all applications for reviews not later than February 15.

TSC and Knut are contesting the transfer of teachers, promotions, performance contracting and professional development modules.

Knut lawyer Paul Muite sought for more time to allow his clients to fully with the order. Muite said the union needed more time to communicate to teachers at grassroots level in order to comply with the order.

Muite wanted Knut given until Monday to ask teachers to report to work. Ongaya however directed that schools re-open today and teachers to report to work. Knut said the CBA lays out the procedure under which the four contentious issues ought to be addressed. The union said discussions should be held if there was need to change agreements in the CBA. “TSC is acting in breach of the CBA,” Muite said. The case will be mentioned on January 17 when a report on the progress of conciliation proceedings will be made.