The Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers, Kuppet, as lashed out at the teachers’ employer for threatening to expunge over 3,500 teachers and staff from the payroll. This is in response to a move by the Teachers Service Commission, TSC, to remove teachers who failed to declare their 2017/ 2019 liabilities, assets and income within the stipulated time.
“We have noted with concern that the Teachers Service Commission intends to stop the remittance of salaries to some 3,500 TSC employees, most of them teachers, for their alleged failure to file a statement of income, assets and liabilities under the Public Officers Ethics Act,” says Kuppet.
TSC on April 14, 2020, released a list of 3,500 teachers and staff who failed to declare their wealth even after extending the deadline from the earlier set date of 31/12/2019. The Commission said the affected individuals will miss their April salaries until they do a formal explanation as to why they failed to comply. Kuppet says this move has had ripple effects among the teaching circles.
“The Commission’s circular dated 14 April 2020 has caused extreme anxiety in the teaching fraternity at a time all Kenyans are dealing with the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. Already, too many lists are circulating on social media allegedly identifying the affected teachers,” adds Kuppet via a circular dated April 21, 2020.
According to Kuppet, it will be very difficult for the said teachers to fulfill the requirements set by TSC considering the fact that ‘schools and TSC offices around the country are currently un-operational, while many teachers have travelled far away from their stations of service.’
Borrow a leaf from other employers
The current state of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country has made life very difficult and subjecting teachers to pay cuts will only make the situation worse. kuppet advises TSC to borrow a leaf from other government arms.
“It would be insensitive on the Commission’s part to be punishing teachers during this pandemic when other government departments are issuing temporary reprieves to citizens and foreigners for non-compliance with certain protocols during this crisis. For instance, the government has extended an indefinite extension for foreign nationals whose work permits have expired,” advises Kuppet.
Accordingly, KUPPET has written to the TSC Secretary urging her to rescind the planned action of suspending salaries for any employees until after the COVID-19 pandemic is over and government operations return to normal.
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