The reality of empty bank accounts belonging to 288,060 teachers with 40,000 claimed to have been paid, denote an enormous injury for the teachers. It has been a take up arms between the Teachers Service Commission and the teachers’ unions, which has led to the government showing a valiant spirit of defying court orders. After a long cross swords, it’s a question of who had the last laugh between the TSC and the teachers. Mr Justice Abuodha ordered that there would be no victimization of teachers and their September salary, but according to the Secretary General William Sossion , TSC and the government are up to the violation of those orders. The unions have put it clear that they have suspended their strike for 90 days as ordered by the court, it however remains unclear; should we expect another strike early 2016? Let this be pondered because the unions expect the government to comply with the court order awarded by Justice Nduma Nderi awarding teachers 50-60 per cent pay rise.
The bell rang today on 5th October 2015 for assembly after 34 days later after schools were desserted and padlocks remained on the gates in all Public Schools. Teachers were on low tones and could not fail to show their disappointment on the back to class order. They had nothing to rejoice about and hence the learners as innocent as they looked; they could not understand why the “holiday” was too long. Perhaps the USA president Barack Obama changed term dates when he visited Kenya in July. It is for fact that all the candidates fear had started to practically eat a hole in their hearts because they were uncertain of undertaking their national examinations which hang around. The teachers had an opportunity to encourage the learners to embark on their school work, having in mind that examinations are just about to start.
The whole controversy will then shift to the relief teachers employed by TSC this week on contract basis. The TSC had earlier advertised 70,000 vacancies for teachers, which looked like a weapon to scare teachers, especially those who are about to retire and those who had received posting letters in August. The employment and Labour relations Court Judge Nduma Nderi stopped TSC from hiring the teachers which is a case filed by the Trade Union Congress of Kenya. Rumour has it that 10,000 applicants had already entered an agreement of three months before the exercise was stopped. To these teachers, confusion and nightmare will mingle together before the whole issue is resolved by the court. Since everybody is moving to court for justice, the relieved teachers may also move to the court to seek for fair play. There is still a huge shortage of teachers in Public schools. Instead of the TSC taking these teachers into a contract basis, it is actually an opportunity of employing them permanently.
After five weeks on strike, teachers’ expectation has to be put on pending and lamentably enough, the teachers lack the pay rise as well as their September salary. They have gone back to their duties mournful and thinking of unpaid September bills. The schemes work and lesson plans were ready for the content to be delivered today, despite the teachers’ employer shying away from addressing the September salary issue. Teaching is a call and therefore, teachers have opted go back to school to perform their task diligently. The parents and learners especially the candidates, have a reason to smile again following the back to class order. Teachers weep NOT.