set aside newly introduced performance-based career progression guidelines., NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 21 – School heads’ associations have joined the Teachers Service Commission’s (TSC) bid to seek a stay of the July 12 ruling by the Labour and Employment Relations court which
Kenya Primary Schools Heads Association (KEPSHA) Chairperson Nicholas Gathemia said the alliance of primary school managers will support the teachers’ employer dismissing opposition to performance-based career progression by the Wilson Sossion–led Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) as selfish.
“There’re selfish individuals who want to have our cake because they already have theirs. We stand with TSC and the government to support 100 per cent changes that will improve learning outcomes in this country,” he said.
Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association (KESSHA) Chairperson Indimuli Kahi has also announced the federation’s support for TSC’s application for stay orders.
“KESSHA looks at the July 21 ruling as weak and that is why we join TSC’s application to have it stayed,” he said on Saturday.
Kahi also asked school heads to resist the temptation of taking up union leadership positions to avoid conflict of interest.
“At times there are issues that emerge that would put a school head at a position of conflict of interest where he/she is expected to discharge their mandate as school administrators yet at the same time they’re expected to abide by the union’s position on a matter,” he noted.
KNUT’s rival union, Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET), has also sided with TSC on the push for performance-based promotion guidelines declaring its support for the application for stay orders.
The TSC has defended the new guidelines as vital to the success of the ongoing rollout of Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) thousands with at least 20,000 school managers having been promoted already.
TSC CEO Nancy Macharia has said should the July 12 decision by the Labour and Employment Relations court stand, the commission will not be able to effect futher promotions until January 2020.
“This will lead to demotion of institutional administrators who have been promoted based on the career progression guidelines since the implementation of the CBA. It also completely cripples the exercise of the applicant function to promote teachers generally in accordance with the CBA. It is not in the best interest of teachers,” she recently said while reacting to the ruling.
KNUT has opposed the performance-based progression module adopted by the TSC saying it would disenfranchise some 50,000 teachers due for promotions having pursued further studies.
Justice Byram Ongaya of the Labour and Employment Relations Court in Milimani in his ruling on July 12 directed TSC to effect promotions based on its Code of Regulations.
“TSC will undertake promotions in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Code of Regulations for Teachers and the schemes of service with respect to all unionisable teachers,” he ruled.
Justice Ongaya urged KNUT and TSC to align prevailing schemes of service to an existing Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) structure without breaching the code of regulations for teachers.
The judge also granted a prayer by KNUT lawyers seeking to have teachers in leadership positions at union branches transferred within geographical areas of their respective union branches.