Six top branch officials of a teachers’ union have been struck off its payroll in a major falling-out with the national office over implementation of the contentious Teachers Professional Development (TPD) training programme.
The branch executive secretaries of the Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) told the Nation they have not received their salaries for two months after they wrote to the national office in September saying their branches would not support the TPD that has been introduced by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) for retooling teachers.
The affected are Mr Sabala Inyeni (Vihiga), Mr William Lengoyiap (Samburu), Mr Shadrack Mutungi (Taita Taveta), Mr Samuel Jasolo (Migori), Mr Robert Miano (Laikipia) and Mr Zachary Nyamboi (Baringo).
They termed the move by their union as intimidation so as not to speak against the TPD and demanded to be reinstated to the payroll. They said they would escalate their plight at the 22nd annual general conference that will be held in Eldoret over the weekend.
Teachers are expected to undertake six training modules (one every five years), failure to which their teaching licences will not be renewed. The training is scheduled to begin when school close next week.
The Kuppet national office supports the TPD modules although some of its members across the country have expressed reservations about the plan Mt Kenya University, Riara University, Kenyatta University and the Kenya Education Management Institute have been selected to offer the training which will cost a teacher Sh6,000 per module.
“The position we took on TPD training modules was in line with concerns raised by our members. After listening to them, we wrote to the national office informing it about the branch position and that is what we are standing by,” said Mr Jasolo.
Kuppet Secretary-General Akello Misori dismissed the claims by the branch officials that they have not been paid.
“There is nothing of the sort. All our officials are being paid,” Mr Misori said in a text message.
Mr Inyeni revealed that the head office has also reduced the revenue allocation to their branches. Each branch receives 65 per cent of the union dues deducted from the teachers’ salaries within its jurisdiction.
“All we want is for TSC to pay the Sh6,000 (for training) for the teachers and not force our members to pay from their salaries. For this, we are being victimised and it is time teachers changed our national office that is highly compromised by TSC,” Mr Inyeni said.
Mr Lengoyiap said his branch had received a paltry Sh26,000, which is inadequate for office operations and staff salaries.
“They (national union officials) wrote to me. The secretary general said I did not follow some union laws. Now we have not received salaries since October. When we ask, they tell us to take from branch allocations yet this is not salary,” Mr Mutungi said.
Mr Inyeni claimed the officials had information the procurement process was in favour of the four institutions, adding that the planned retraining will cost up to Sh2 billion.
“We have information there was foul play in selecting the universities. DCI and EACC should investigate this. TSC has 300,000 teachers on its payroll and the plan is keen on netting in money from the cash-strapped employees.”