Kenya: KNUT in Court to Stop Teachers' Career Progression Guidelines

21 January 2021

Nairobi — The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Secretary-General Wilson Sossion has filed a petition in court to stop the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) from implementing promotions based on Career Progression Guidelines (CPG).

Sossion further wants the commission's Chief Executive Officer Nancy Macharia to be jailed for six months for contempt of court orders.

In a petition filed Thursday, Sossion said the Labor and Employment Court had on July 2019 issued orders and made a judgment that promotion of teachers should not be based on career progression guidelines which the commission has ignored.

"This honorable court be pleased to cite and punish by the issuance of orders and committal to jail for six (6) months against 2nd and 3rd contemnors for disobeying the orders of this honorable court of 12th July 2019," Sossion told the court in his petition.

In December last year, TSC advertised 15,226 promotions vacancies for teachers which were all based on CPG.

The vacancies included Deputy Principal I, Deputy Principal II, Senior Lecturer, Deputy Principal III, Curriculum Support Officers, Head Teacher, Senior Master IV, Deputy Head Teacher II, Senior Lecturer IV and Senior Master IV.

Applicants were expected to send their applications by January 13 this year.

TSC's decision to conduct promotions based on career progression guidelines (CPG) has been a subject of contention between the employer and the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) for some time.

KNUT's opposition to the CPG has seen thousands of teachers quit the union to benefit from the Sh54 billion Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA).

This was after TSC argued that the court ruling on CPG meant that KNUT members, who were opposed to the criteria, were not legible to benefit from the CBA.

High Court Judge Hillary Sigei has, has certified Sossion's petition as urgent and called on the TSC and its CEO to halt declaring vacancies in line with the career progression guidelines until the matter is heard and determined again.

He termed the recent advertisements of vacancies by TSC as unlawful and illegal.

"That the dignity and integrity of the court is under attack and continues to be prejudiced by the contemnor's actions. There is reasonable apprehension that if the trend of flagrant unlawful actions and directives by the contemnors are not stopped immediately, it will propagate illegalities contrary to the orders of this Honorable Court," Sigei stated.

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