KUPPET opposes proposal to abolish permanent jobs in public sector

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KUPPET Secretary General Akelo Misori highlighted the constitutional implications of such a policy change vowing to fight it until it is defeated.

The Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) has strongly criticised the proposal to eliminate permanent and pensionable employment terms within the public sector, as the government seeks to shift to contract terms of service.

KUPPET Secretary General Akelo Misori described the proposal as mischievous, ill-conceived and unprecedented adding that it will disrupt public service operations.

In a statement on Wednesday, Misori highlighted the constitutional implications of such a policy change vowing to fight it until it is defeated.

“Kenya’s Constitution and all laws pursuant to it envisage a regime of permanent and pensionable employment in the public service. Unless the constitutional order is overturned, abolishing permanent and pensionable employment would kill public service as we know it. KUPPEt firmly opposes this policy and vows to contest it vigorously,” Misori said.

He noted that the very bedrock of public service is the guarantee of job security and pensions post-service.

“The integrity of public service is anchored on the assurance of full tenure and post-retirement benefits, as stipulated by the Kenyan Constitution and related laws,” Misori explained.

Misori also demanded an immediate halt to the contract employment of intern teachers in the public service.

Court ruling

He insisted that the Employment and Labour Relations Court (ELCR) had decisively ruled last month that the engagement of intern teachers by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) was both unconstitutional and illegal.

“The court's decision makes it clear that TSC does not have the authority to employ teachers on internship contracts. Legally, hiring must be done on a permanent and pensionable basis,” Misori said.

He called for immediate action to regularise the status of approximately 46,000 intern teachers, particularly those in junior schools, in accordance with the law.

KUPPET has demanded that the government immediately cease the practice of contractual employment and uphold the legal requirements for permanent positions within the public service.

Junior Secondary School teachers across various counties have vowed not to return to work until TSC fully complies with the ruling of the court.

The teachers held demonstrations over the Commission's violation of labour practices.

The ELRC court ruled that the Commission had violated the intern teachers' right to fair labour practices by hiring them under intern status despite their qualifications and possession of teaching licenses.

Justice Byrum Ongaya, ordered the Commission to halt the recruitment or retention of interns or student teachers, asserting their primary role should be employment rather than training.

“The respondents have failed to show statutory, regulatory, or policy arrangements that allow the first respondent (TSC) to employ interns. Ideally, the TSC should hire registered teachers on fair terms to fulfil optimal staffing needs in public schools,” Justice Ongaya said.

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