Kenya: Thousands of Teachers to Be Demoted Over New Rules - TSC

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Headteachers who were promoted recently based on the career professional guidelines suspended by court last week might be demoted, the Teachers Service Commission said Thursday.

TSC said it will be forced to place the teachers in their old job grades, adding that promotions will be suspended until after July 2020 when the current collective bargaining agreement lapses.

The TSC, which returned to court Thursday seeking to have last week's orders stopping the implementation of the guidelines halted, said suspending the performance management tools is an affront to public interest since it makes teachers unaccountable to anyone.

In a fresh suit filed at the Employment and Labour Relations Court against the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut), TSC wants the orders temporarily suspended.

"TSC herein is aggrieved by the judgment and is reasonably apprehensive that unless orders of stay of execution are immediately granted, the applicant shall be completely paralysed in executing its mandate under the Constitution," the TSC boss Nancy Macharia said.

TSC argued that last week's judgement violates the Constitution and the Public Finance Management Act, which requires prudent use of public funds, as well as the right to education.

TSC also faulted the judge for suspending the Teachers Training Development Programme module, since it should be implemented in line with the TSC Act.

The commission said the suspension will affect the roll-out of the programme, lead to financial losses and is a breach of contract.

Also, TSC argued that if it promotes all unionisable teachers in accordance with the schemes of service, the gains of the teachers' CBA will be crippled due to the quashing of the career progression guidelines.

The Kenya Post-Primary Education teachers union (Kuppet) wants to be enjoined in the case.

"The union's main goal in the suit is to protect the gains under the CBA, signed in 2016, which had been put at risk by the judgment. The court's orders provided a window for the employer to roll back multiple gains teachers had secured under the 2016 CBA," said Kuppet acting secretary-general, Mr Moses Nthurima.

TSC was directed to give copies of the case documents to Knut, which has been directed to respond to the suit by the end of today, for hearing on July 22.

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