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Judiciary workers in protest over new structure

WORK LIFE
By Kamau Muthoni | February 9th 2021

The Judiciary has defended the new scheme of service which has been termed discriminative by staff and urged the Labour Court to lift orders blocking it from employing more than 300 workers.

Judiciary’s Human Resource Director Elizabeth Kalei, in a response to a case filed by Sammy Osundo on behalf of senior court assistants, challenging the new scheme of service, argues that a new structure to be used for 334 new staff was done through consultations.

In the case before Labour Court judge Maureen Onyango, staff who hold diplomas and certificates claim they have been locked out as the Judiciary seeks to implement new terms.

“We were shocked to learn that the requirements for promotion were not the same. Rather, the Judicial Service Commission has introduced a requirement of a degree, as opposed to working experience, which locked out most eligible staff,” court papers read.

The judiciary conducted interviews between October 21 and November 11 last year. This follows an organisation review report which recommended drastic changes in courts and registries management.

The judiciary has eight administrative structures that is the office of the Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice, chief registrar of the judiciary, court registrar’s directorates which include Finance and Accounts, supply chain management among others.

It also has units that include public affairs and communication, the Judicial Service Commission, and Audit and risks management.

Under this, it initially had 17 grading structures. The management levels took one to six while the junior staffs were from level seven to 11.

However, documents filed in court indicate that the judiciary in 2019 abolished the structure and instead introduced a single spine structure. Its senior staff says, the new structure spelt doom for them to progress within the ladder while junior staff who are under their supervision and having degrees have a chance to progress.

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