Page 2 / NATIONAL NEWS
Monday, May 6, 2013 / The Standard
We wrote to theminister and he alsoresponded. The views alsoincorporated the advicefrom Attorney General andthat is still the position
— TSCSecretary, Gabriel Lengoiboni
Schools reopen as tutors'unions insist on strike over pay deal
Sh11, 616 a month in allowances. InFebruary, Knut declared a strike aterthe Government ailed to revoke thelegal notice, even ater direction by aparliamentary committee, prompting authorities to initiate resh talks.However, the latest month-long talks brokered by a State-appointedconciliator, Mr J N Makaa, ailed andKnut has vowed to press on with thestrike.Sources amiliar with the matter say the State was not keen to part with Sh2billion monthly as it would worsen thealready spiralling wage bill that Presi-dent Uhuru Kenyatta has stated isunsustainable.Separately, Knut and the KenyaUnion o Post Primary EducationTeachers (Kuppet), which have a mem-bership o more than 250,000, haveissued a 14-day strike notice over an-other dispute.
The ultimatum, which expires onMonday, is to protest the TSC’s reezeon promotion o teachers and the withdrawal o hardship allowances insome parts o the country. Yesterday, Sossion told
they would ask their members toboycott work.“Ater the certifcate o disagree-ment was issued it meant that Knutcan call a strike any minute because wehad already complied with the law inFebruary,” Sossion said.“We will reactivate the strike be-cause we had only suspended indus-trial action to give room or talks. Allorgans o Knut had sanctioned thestrike.”Through a letter dated March 27,Makaa declared the dispute betweenthe State and Knut over the legal no-tice, which Knut claims illegally amended the allowances negotiated in1997, had not been resolved.“Following conciliation eorts Ihereby confrm that the dispute re-mains unresolved as provided by sec-tion 69 o the Labour Relations Act2007 on the core contention o the de-gazetted Legal Notice No. 16 0 2003,”reads part o the letter a copy o which
obtained. “The partiesare at liberty to advance the subjectdispute to the next level.”
By AUGUSTINE ODUOR
Recruitment o senior sta to theTeachers Service Commission is ac-ing another legal hurdle, i all the eightpositions or commissioners are ad-vertised or replacement. Another round o legal battle islooming i positions o the two com-missioners who were interviewed by the James Kamunge-led panel are alsoput up or resh interviews.The term or current fve commis-sioners expires mid-next month and
has established the po-sitions may be advertised this week.However, reports that the commis-sion is set to re-advertise the two slots whose names were rejected by Parlia-ment is threatening to cripple it op-erations. This is because a ruling by Justice David Majanja directed thePresident nominate resh names rominterviewed and shortlisted candi-dates in accordance with Section8(11) o TSC Act, 2012 to fll the slots.This means that the replacemento the two positions should be doneby resh names rom names the listKamunge panel proposed.Those nominated or appointmentin the initial list were Kahindi ZiroJames, Fredrick Haga Ochieng’ and Adan Sheikh Abdullahi. Cleopas Tirop, who had emerged tops in the inter-view was missing in the list.This list was rejected and thenames taken back to the Presidentand a new one presented to the House,this time with Tirop, Ochieng’, Abdul-lahi and that o the chairperson.But a Mr Abdi Sitar Yusu went tocourt to block the three commission-ers’ names arguing the list was irregu-larly approved. The court blockedOchieng’ and Abdullahi but clearedTirop and he was sworn in lastmonth. According to the court ruling, therejection o Ochieng’ and Abdullahilet the President with one duty o nominating resh names rom among the list. This means these two slotsshould not be re-advertised. And i merit is a actor in the replacement o these two commissioners, Dr JuliusJwan and Saadia Abdi Kontomashould constitute the resh list. According to the score sheet, Jwan who represented Nyanza scored 71.8even as Ochieng’ scored 71.6 and waspicked in the rejected list. Saadiascored 69.7 coming second to Abdul-lahi who scored 70.3. With the two rejected, Jwan andSaadia should be the automatic ben-efciaries in the merit list. And now, Sitar who blocked theappointments o the two now warnsshould the two positions also be re-advertised, he will move to courtagain to block the entire process. Thismeans the commission shall be un-constitutional as only one commis-sion shall be in ofce.“I these two slots are sent or aresh round o interviews then it willbe contempt o court and we shallmove to block the entire process,”said Sitar.
TSC faces new obstacle in commissioners appointment
Knut argued the letter by Makaa,according to the Labour Relations Act,allows them two options: to withdraw labour or move to the industrialcourt.The union has ruled out going tocourt and says based on Makaa’s letter,the State has essentially given theirimpending strike legal recognition. According to the Act, a strike is pro-tected i the eort by a conciliator ailsand a certifcate o disagreement is is-sued.“I a trade union dispute is not re-solved ater conciliation a party to thedispute may reer it to the IndustrialCourt in accordance with the rules o the Industrial Court,” reads section 73o the Act.
terms and Conditions
The Act also protects all teachers who will participate in the strike underSection 76.“A person may participate in a strikeor lock-out i the trade dispute thatorms the subject o the strike or lock out concerns terms and conditions o employment...”
ThE BIG chAllENEGE
• Commissioners David Kuno, RoseMogoi Sereti, Meshack Llanziva,Monica Kilonzo and Lucy Njeru willvacate their ofces by June 14.• Only former Nairobi School prin
cipal Cleopas Tirop who was swornin last week by Chief Justice Wil
ly Mutunga will remain in ofcethrowing service delivery at TSCinto dilemma.This is likely to create an avenuefor any concerned citizen to chal
lenge the constitutionality of thecomposition of the commission incourt.
Under this section o the Act, atrade dispute is deemed to be unre-solved ater conciliation i the concili-ator issues a certifcate that the disputehas not been resolved.Makaa’s letter is copied to TSC sec-retary Gabriel Lengoiboni and theFederation o Kenyan Employees, La-bour Commissioner and the Secretary General, Conederation o Civil Ser-vants Union (Pusetu).Lengoiboni confrmed that thetalks did not yield a solution and saidthey are not at war with the unions.He said the report by the HouseImplementation Committee indicatedthat Parliament should ask the Educa-tion minister to de-gazzette the legalnotice.“We wrote to the minister and healso responded. The views also incor-porated the advise rom the attorney General and that is still the position,”Lengoiboni said.
Under a 1997 agreement, teachers were supposed to earn hal their basicpay as house allowance. They were alsoto pocket 20 per cent o their basic pay as medical allowance and another 10per cent o their salary towards com-muter allowance.But the contentious Legal NoticeNo. 16 o 2003 stopped the enjoymento these perks.The Government has always heldthat this particular notice overturnedLegal Notice No.534 o 1997 under which all the allowances in question were negotiated and agreed upon.This was also the cause o last year’sthree-week nationwide teachers strikethat saw learning paralysed in all pub-lic schools across the country.
Continued from P1
B JosepH mUCHiri
A teachers’ union has expresseddisappointment at the Government’s withdrawal o hardship allowances o some teachers and ailure to promoteothers.Kenya National Union o Teachersfrst national women representativeDorothy Muthoni said they could notunderstand why their gains o many years were being withdrawn.“How can hardship allowance thata member has enjoyed or years justbe withdrawn? There is no way youcan reduce someone’s earnings as thisis against the labour laws and the In-ternational Labour Organisation,”said Muthoni.She said thousands o teachers inMeru North, Taita Taveta and Kerichohad been aected by the withdrawal.She said teachers never went to Teach-ers Service Commission ofces or theTreasury to make their payrolls as itsalways done on merit and thus won-dered how it can be reduced.
“We want to tell TSC we will nottake this lying down, so they shouldreinstate the hardship allowance orthe teachers. We also demand they give thesame allowance to areas that deservebut have been denied. Why shouldthey cause tension among teachers while we are law-abiding citizens?”asked Muthoni.She asked the commission to hon-our the Legal Notice No. 534 o 1997and their structured dialogue prior tothe General Election in which they agreed the Legal Notice No. 16 o 2003be removed as it was denying teacherstheir allowances.She said while they do not want tocontemplate downing their tools, itappeared as i teachers would alwayshave to go on strike or their griev-ances to be listened and addressed.Muthoni also said that teachersshould be promoted ater getting acertain qualifcation and questioned why it was not being done.
Knut officialfaults move todeny teachersallowances
Teachers participate in a past strike. Teachers’ unions — Knut and Kuppet — have issued a strike notice.