Confusion Roams as TSC Sends KUPPET Senior Officials to Class
Confusion Roams as TSC Sends KUPPET Senior Officials to Class. The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has thrown the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) into disarray after it sacked three branch executive secretaries and took them back to the classroom under unclear circumstances.
This unprecedented action is one of the unconventional moves by the teachers’ employer, considering that the teachers still serve as branch heads.
Those affected are Omondi Oluoch from Tana River, Moses Kimwere from Isiolo and William Lengoyiap from Samburu who have now been directed to report to their designated stations with immediate effect. The order is contained in the relevant postal letters dated January 23, 2024, copies of which have been seen by Education Highlights.
In the posting letters, Oluoch was transferred to Uriri High School to teach Mathematics and Physics in a letter signed by Catherine Wachiro (Migori TSC District Principal), Lengoyiap was posted to Kirisia High School to teach Biology and Agriculture while Kimwere was transferred to High School Waso, where he taught mathematics and chemistry. Both letters were signed by Tola Jilo for TSC Secretary and Director General Dr. Nancy Macharia.
The three were further ordered to report to their stations within 14 days for assignment of duties, while the school principals were directed to inform the commission through their regional directors of the date they reported for duty.
“Any appeal against this posting should reach the Commission within 14 days of the date of this letter and in the event of any appeal you must report to your new station pending the Commission’s decision,” part of the letter reads. .
The three who spoke to Education News said they had not received any communication from the union’s general secretary Akello Misori about the surrounding circumstances.
“There was no communication from the union; actually a guy from TSC called me and told me to give him my email address so he could send me a letter. When I received the mail on January 24, 2024, the county director called me the same day to pick up the letter. I don’t know why I should apply because my members that I represent have not said that I am going back to class. There was no by-election, I did not lose any election and the Secretary General did not communicate,” Kimwere narrated.
Oluoch’s sentiments are the same and he claims to be the elected leader of the Tana River branch.
“How does it work with an elected leader? I am elected, then someone comes and says you have been sent. Once you are elected as the executive secretary of the branch, you become a full-time employee of the union and that will only change if you lose by resignation, death, expulsion by the National Board of Governors and if I stay abroad for more than six months, or we lose in the next election,” he said.
The same was echoed by Lengoyiap who noted that the TSC is drawn into the internal affairs of the union and that they will not be intimidated in seeking justice for the Kenyan teacher.
“They want to intimidate us not to talk pro-rata and talk about teachers and TSC; so that they can change the Union Constitution to suit them,” said Lengoyiap.
According to Oluoch and Lengoyiap, the decision to bring them into the class is a result of their opposition to the proportional share policy. Things then turned south when they visited the Machakos branch to confront KUPPET Machakos branch vice president Yvonne Mutindi who was facing disciplinary proceedings. Incidentally, Mutindi is also in the camp that opposes the pro-rata rule.
Yet there is a stark contradiction – the TSC dismissal letter states that branch executive secretaries are only reinstated if they lose the election.
“If you fail to be re-elected as a union officer, you must notify this office within 14 days so that we can send you to a public institution before your service is terminated,” reads the statement seen by Education Highlights.
But as things stand now, TSC seems to have ignored its own rules of engagement. The commission was clearly drawn into the struggles within the union.
We will offer a detailed push and pull analysis in our next print issue.