Address discrepancies evident in TSC's promotion of teachers

Teachers Service Commission CEO Nancy Macharia during the training of Master Trainers for Competence-Based Curriculum for Junior Secondary Schools in Kenya at Kenya Institute of Special Education in Nairobi on April 26, 2022. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

About 1,000 teachers were subjected to interviews for senior graduate teachers’ positions before CBA 2017-2021 and subsequently deployed to serve as head teachers under job group M (re-named C5). Before being promoted, these teachers were in JG ’M’ which is C5 and were earning at pay group K.

According to the conversion table six of primary school teachers, these teachers, who comprise of senior graduate teachers, senior approved teachers and senior ordinary diploma teachers ought to have been moved to D1 upon deployment as head teachers.

During the time in question, the Teachers’ Service Commission (TSC) decided to promote a group of teachers to headship positions without interviews. The teachers comprised Graduate Teacher I, Ordinary Diploma Teacher I, Approved Teacher I, Graduate Teacher II, Approved Teacher II, Ordinary Diploma Teacher II, Ordinary Diploma Teacher III, Approved Teacher III, Approved IV and P1 Teachers from JG G, H, J, K and L to C5. This move was meant to elevate these teachers’ pay to make it commensurate to the administrative positions they were getting into. These teachers earn at pay group K.

The group of teachers initially at JG M; C5, despite being subjected to an interview, which they passed and being given leadership roles as heads of institutions, feel they were short-changed. This is because they remained in grade C5 without any monetary gains.

There exist discrepancies where some senior graduate teachers, serving as head teachers, are in D1 and yet others with the same qualifications are still in C5. These teachers had the same qualifications, in the same job group before they faced the interview and were given the new positions.

They are performing the same roles and facing the same challenges but are earning different salaries and allowances contrary to part II section 5 of the Labour Relations Act, 2007. The affected teachers feel demotivated and unappreciated even as they continue discharging their duties.

When these teachers wrote to TSC complaining about the same, the employer advertised 63 slots for senior graduate teachers to move to D1 as part of the mitigation. What surprised the teachers was that these slots were preserved for teachers from the arid and semi-arid land areas only. It also emerged that they were open to all head teachers in those areas, even those who had been moved from job group G to C5.

Addressing the failure to address the plight of these teachers TSC, argues that it only deployed them to positions of headship but did not promote them. However, some P1 teachers with degrees have been deployed to secondary schools and promoted from C1 to C2 without being subjected to any interviews.

The same treatment ought to have been given to deployed head primary schools. According to the code of regulations for teachers, deployment means appointment of a teacher to a certain capacity and includes posting them from a primary institution to a post primary institution and withdrawal of administrative duties. 

These teachers’ petition to have the commission look into their plight by grading and paying them according to the grades they deserve is genuine, meritorious and weighty. The matter was brought up on time and we took action by writing to the commission, asking it to address the matter.

TSC seems to be arguing out their position based on the definition of terms in the Code of Regulations for Teachers and the provisions of the 2017/2021 CBA. This argument will not generate a positive outcome. Our position is that a conducive environment needs to be created to enable these teachers to explain themselves better and be assisted.

Whereas we appreciate the input of many stakeholders of good faith, including the National Assembly in trying to play their oversight role and ensure that all government agencies, including independent commissions such as the TSC, play their roles effectively, we wish to remind them that the unions are coming out of the doldrums of valiant attacks that nearly wiped us out their operations.

Knut appeared several times before The National Assembly Committee on Education and Research to address a number of weighty aspects, which included, non-remittance of union dues, discrimination of teachers in the implementation of the 2017/2021 CBA, forced exit of teachers from unions and targeted unauthorised deductions. All these engagements are on record.

We wish to request friends of teachers to keep supporting us as we engage more to find the best for our respected and deserving members.

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