Written by John Kabaka 2012-06-13 16:21:00 Read 1143 Times
Kuppet executives during a press conference in Kakamega led by the union's national chairman Mr. Omboko Milemba at the centre. [PHOTO|John Kabaka|West Fm]
The Kenya Union of Post Primary Teachers (KUPPET) has poked holes into the recently published Teachers Service Commission (TSC) Bill describing it as an authoritarian piece of legislation intended to undermine teachers and urged Members of Parliament to reject it.
Kuppet national chairman Omboko Milemba said the union was angered by the ministry's decision to exclude the refined recommendations to the bill by stakeholders during the Utalli hotel forum and instead reinstating the sections of the original bill.
Addressing the media after the Kuppet cluster workshop for the Kakamega chapter, Milemba urged Mps to reject the bill in its current state arguing the document heaps more powers to the TSC, contravenes the Constitution and undermines the gains made in the workplace over
“The TSC bill as gazetted by the minister is not the document that we discussed and agreed on during the stakeholders meeting with the Constitution Implementation Commission at Utalli hotel. It is an original TSC bill without our input,” he remarked.
“It has come to our notice that the bill was altered and we are appealing to parliament through the Education Committee to hold on the bill until teachers' input is made before it can be debated and passed into law because its passage as it is would be disastrous to teachers of this country,” added Milemba
He urged parliament's committee on education to withhold debate on the bill until proper consultations with stakeholders and their input included before the bill is taken for debate to parliament.
Kuppet is protesting against a raft of provisions allegedly included in the bill, key among them performance contracting of teachers, exclusion of a teachers tribunal to arbitrate on disciplinary cases and lack of clear outline on terms such as sexual intercourse, insubordination and indiscipline as used in the bill.
The union is also contesting the exclusion of a devolved structure of TSC in line with the County government units as well as the exclusion of unions during the hearing of the teacher’s disciplinary hearings. Omboko claimed that the union had sought its membership inclusion into the disciplinary panels.
The Kakamega Kuppet cluster workshop, which aims to create awareness among officials on new laws governing the education sector, TSC bill, Education bill, T-Vet bill, Knec bill and university education bill, brought together union representatives from four Counties of Siaya, Vihiga, Kisumu and Kakamega.
Key officials in attendance included the national Kuppet Secretary for Gender Catherine Wambiliangah, Executive Secretaries Nixon Amendi (Vihiga), Harrison Otota (Kakamega), Wilson Orene (Siaya) and John Adulo (Kisumu).
Omboko cautioned the TSC against piece meal implementation of the performance contracts for teachers. He said the move to introduce the contracts at the national school level was a divide and rule scheme and urged teachers not to yield to it.
Meanwhile, the union has given the government a seven-day ultimatum to convene a meeting to harmonize salaries, house allowances and commuter allowances for teachers. The harmonization of allowances was one of the issues agreed upon between the union and government before the last strike was called off.
Omboko said that the government had remained silent on the matter of harmonization of salaries and allowances even after establishment of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission, which had withheld the process.
“Failure to deal with the issue will result into an industrial action by our members,” he warned.