Court orders Nyeri County to pay Sh10m to polytechnic tutors

Monday March 20 2017

Youth polytechnic tutors from Nyeri County

Youth polytechnic tutors from Nyeri County celebrate after the Labour court ordered the county government to absorb them on permanent basis and awarded them Sh10.3 million in salary arrears. PHOTO | JOSEPH WANGUI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By JOSEPH WANGUI
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The Employment and Labour Relations Court has ordered the Nyeri County to pay Sh10 million to 65 youth polytechnic tutors as salary and allowances incurred between July and December 2015.

Justice Byram Ongaya directed the county government to pay Sh10,343,970 to the tutors for failing to absorb them as instructed by the now-defunct Transition Authority (TA).

The court also directed the county government to employ the youth trainers under permanent and pensionable terms.

The tutors, who were each earning Sh26,523 per month, moved to court seeking orders to stop the county government from subjecting them to fresh interviews for the posts.

Through lawyer Davidson Warutere, they told the court that they were employed by the Public Service Commission (PSC) in May 2011 and issued with appointment letters for a three-year contract.

The contract ended in Aril 2014 and the PSC extended it to June 2015 but they continued to work up to December of the same year.

FRESH INTERVIEWS

The lawyer told the court that the Nyeri County Public Service Board later invited the tutors for a suitability interview and only 19 were found fit to work while the fate of the others was not communicated.

The board later terminated employment of all the tutors including those found suitable and advertised for the positions.

The tutors were dissatisfied with the move and moved to court alleging unfair labour practices.

The county government, through lawyer Wahome Gikonyo, opposed the suit and called for its dismissal and denied receiving any directive from TA.

Mr Gikonyo added that the tutors were entitled to suitability interviews before being absorbed into the county service.

While delivering the judgment, the court found that TA was the lawful body at the time mandated to manage transitional issues including human resource.

MEETING

The judge said there was a meeting between Council of Governors, County Public Service Board Forum and officials of the Education and Devolution ministries where the parties agreed that the tutors would be absorbed by county governments.

It was also agreed that the county governments would make budgetary allocations to cater for them.

The judge observed that the tutors had been hired competitively and they possessed all necessary qualifications to continue in their employment in the new system of governance.

“The imposed suitability interviews or reapplication for the same job were unfair labour practices. There was continued need of their services,” the court stated.

The court further ruled that the time the tutors were not been on duty be treated as leave without pay.