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Thousands of teachers set for salary increment, promotions

Thursday February 20 2020

Teachers Service Commission CEO Nancy Macharia

Teachers Service Commission CEO Nancy Macharia faces the National Assembly's Education Committee regarding the recruitment of teachers in Turkana County, December 3, 2019. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

OUMA WANZALA
By OUMA WANZALA
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A total of 100,000 primary school teachers will from July earn higher salaries in a new Sh7 billion deal.

The teachers, who are all in Grade B5, previously called P1, will automatically be upgraded to Grade C1.

Also lined up for promotions are about 5,000 diploma teachers in secondary schools, Dr Nancy Macharia, the Teachers Service Commission chief executive, told MPs yesterday.

“The Sh7 billion is ready for annual salary increments and promotions,” she said while making a presentation on this year’s budget policy statement to the National Assembly’s Education Committee, chaired by Tinderet MP Julius Melly.

The announcement is a major boost for teachers who were in 2017 moved to the higher grade after the signing of a collective bargaining agreement (2017-2021) that saw the pay rise implemented in two phases.

Grade B5 teachers now earn a basic salary of between Sh21,756 and Sh27,195. They will now take home between Sh27,195 and Sh33,994.

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Grade C1 consists of secondary teacher III/lecturer III and primary teacher 1.

The Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) has been pushing for the promotion of diploma teachers who have stagnated in their positions for long. It has accused the government of forgetting them and treating them like second-class teachers.

Kuppet chairman Omboko Milemba welcomed the promotions, but urged TSC to upgrade more deserving teachers.

“We now want the government to allocate the commission more resources so that more deserving teachers are promoted. We need a motivated teaching force,” he said yesterday on the phone.

Unlike ordinary classroom teachers, those seeking administrative positions must apply for them in a competitive recruitment process.

The teachers, who mostly fall in Job Group K now (Grade C2) and Job Group J (Grade C1), were not promoted alongside others when the 2017-2021 CBA came into effect on July 1.

Some 29,782 teachers fall in C1 (primary teacher I and secondary teacher II) while 19,439 fall in C2 (secondary teacher II and secondary teacher UT and primary special-needs education teacher).

Last month, the TSC appointed more than 7,000 school heads and their deputies and posted them to various schools. Some 1,000 of them are principals and deputies in secondary schools while the rest are in primary schools.

The commission dropped a requirement that headteachers and their deputies possess a basic degree for primary schools and a master’s degree for principals and their deputies in secondary schools. It backed down after many candidates failed to meet the requirement.

In its strategic plan for 2019-2023, TSC says thousands of teachers have stagnated in their current positions for years due to lack of funds and limited opportunities for upward mobility.

It attributes the problem to budgetary limitations for the past five years, adding that the situation has caused disgruntlement among the teachers, high turnover and general instability in schools.

Teachers’ unions have been pushing for the promotion of teachers who have acquired higher academic qualifications since 2014. But TSC has ruled out attainment of higher qualifications as the only criterion for promotion.

Data from TSC indicates that 54,702 teachers have upgraded their education and acquired new academic papers.

It says in its strategic plan that 11,777 teachers were promoted competitively through advertised posts between 2015 and 2018.