Teachers Oppose Gov’t Plan to Shift Civil Servants to Contract Jobs

The teaching community has opposed Public Service Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria’s proposal to switch civil servants from permanent to contract employment.

Akello Misori, secretary-general of the Kenya Union of Post Primary Teachers (Kuppet), characterized the proposal as “mischievous” in a statement released on Wednesday to observe Labour Day. 

The biggest single segment of employees on the government payroll consists of educators. The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) employs about 360,000 teachers.

He said that Hon. Kuria’s proposal was utterly wild, ill-thought-out, and unprecedented in the world. He added that the foundation of public service is security of employment, characterized by full tenure of service and pensions after service.

Eliminating permanent and pensionable employment conditions for government employees, he continued, would be fatal to public service. 

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Kuppet, according to Mr. Misori, rejects the misguided policy proposal and will fight it until its defeat. He also demanded an immediate halt to contract employment in the public service.

Misori was referring to a judgment last month by the Employment and Labour Relations Court, which ruled that TSC’s employment of teachers through the “internship” program is unconstitutional.

The court ruled that the commission lacks the authority to enter into internship contracts with instructors. Further, it specified that TSC may only employ teachers on permanent, pensionable contracts.

The affected teachers have been advocating for the decision to be enforced. Nonetheless, the TSC has secured orders to halt the execution of the ruling while it pursues an appeal.

There are 46,000 contract teachers, most of whom work in junior secondary schools (JSS).

The union stated that it is prepared to agree on the terms for the conversion to permanent and pensionable terms.

They urged the government, particularly the two Speakers of Parliament and all Members of Parliament, to convene a special session and allocate emergency funds to convert intern teachers to permanent terms.

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Kuppet advocated for the establishment of a JSS domiciliary in secondary institutions. 

Mr. Misori argued that the move would take advantage of the immense human capital and physical infrastructure, like laboratories and libraries, that are already in secondary schools but are lacking in primary schools. 

The government states that primary schools will continue to host Junior Secondary.

Teachers Oppose Gov’t Plan to Shift Civil Servants to Contract Jobs

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