Your jobs are on the line, TSC tells striking teachers
Teachers on strike will not be paid for the days they have not worked, the Teachers Service Commission has said.
Addressing a news conference at the commission’s head office in Nairobi on Thursday, TSC chairperson Lydia Nzomo said the commission could not pay workers for days they have not reported to work.
She also insinuated that striking teachers risked being sacked for not reporting to class.
“Teachers know very well what happens when they fail to report to work. They have to work to remain in employment. Should they abscond duties, we are going to handle them in accordance with the commission’s code of regulations,” Dr Nzomo said, flanked by TSC chief executive Nancy Macharia.
Further, the TSC boss said, teachers were putting their jobs in jeopardy because the strike is illegal.
“We are not threatening them, but the call on teachers to participate in the illegal strike will unnecessarily put their jobs in jeopardy. As public servants, teachers are aware that they are only answerable to TSC, which is their employer.
“No individual or entity can give teachers directions on matters relating to attendance and performance of duty,” said Dr Nzomo.
She asked teachers’ unions to be considerate of the 12 million school children who need to be taught.
The illegality of the strike notwithstanding, the right to strike was not absolute and should not override the other rights such as the right of the school-going children to be taught, added Dr Nzomo.
“And in the unlikely event that the strike spills to the time scheduled for national examination, action will be taken to ensure that exam issues are handled,” she said.
The national examinations timetable could be disrupted after the Kenya National Union of Teachers and Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers on Wednesday declared an ‘infinite’ strike, vowing that no learning would resume in public schools until they get the 50 to 60 per cent pay increase.
TSC has already declared the strike illegal, saying it has not received notice from the unions as required in the Labour Relations Act.
It has dismissed claims by the unions that the strike notice they gave in January holds since the current boycott was a continuation of the one they had started earlier in the year.
“To claim that a notice to strike issued in January 2015 is in force is both misleading and dishonest. That strike was called off on January 14, 2015 and teachers resumed duty. This strike is therefore illegal, unjustified and uncalled for and is unprotected,” said Dr Nzomo.
She emphasized that learning needed to be normalized in schools and asked heads of institutions where pupils have not reported to ensure they are recalled so that ‘learning resumes immediately.’