By Alvin Mwangi
Primary school heads have protested a ruling made by the High Court to stop implementation of their 2017-21 collective bargaining agreement (CBA), saying it will affect their career progression.
Kenya Primary Schools Headteachers Association (Kepsha) chair Nicholas Gathemia on Friday said the ruling should be reviewed.
“We have a performance contract which we have signed with the employer and as such, we shall not entertain anybody who may purport to represent us and in turn derail the full implementation of the CBA,” he said.
A ruling made last Friday by Justice Byrum Onganya was a win for Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut), which had filed a case challenging career progression guidelines issued by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC).
The judge set aside the performance-based career progression frameworks for teacher management and remuneration. This could have an impact on the implementation of the said CBA and affect the promotion of teachers for which 54 billion had been set aside.
This means enhanced July salaries of senior primary school teachers, which were to be paid in two phases, could be shelved. The most affected are principals, chief principals, head teachers, their deputies and senior teachers.
Gathemia said plans by TSC to fill at least 5,000 vacancies for headteachers, deputies and principals could be in jeopardy since the commission has been stopped from using the career progression guidelines.
“We need a lot of teachers in our schools. As a head teacher I can tell you it is not easy to manage a school with few teachers. Its better we resolve the ongoing stalemate once and for all,” he said.
He also said the government should be keen to implement the Teacher Professional Development and Teacher Performance Appraisal and Development schemes.