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P1 A-Level teachers back with new demands

By John Machio.

A pressure group representingP1 A-Level teachers has presented fresh demands to the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), seeking to have these teachers promoted to higher grades, Education News has learnt.
This pressure is mounting after their counterparts, who attended a two-week training session, were subsequently promoted to Job Groups ‘M’ and ‘N’.
The group has directed all affected P1-A Level teachers to present their particulars to either Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) or Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) for onward transmission to TSC headquarters.
Initially, the P1 A-Level teachers were slightly over 5,000. But over the years, this number has fallen due to tutors leaving the service through natural attrition or acquiring higher qualifications and changing their profession or moving up the ladder to teach in Secondary schools, Teacher Training Colleges or Universities.
Briefing the media after meeting top officials of TSC, KNUT and KUPPET, the group said that majority of P1 A-Level teachers are currently on Job Group ‘L’ where they have stagnated for years, while their colleagues who attended an In-service two-week training programme at both Bondo and Kagumo Teacher Training Colleges and offered P1 Certificate have been promoted to Job Groups ‘M’ and ‘N’.
The National Treasurer of the group, Kepha Mshambala, said it held fruitful discussions with TSC officials who promised to promote the affected teachers after all the necessary formalities, are met.
“We were referred to KNUT and KUPPET so that the matter can be registered as an industrial issue and dealt with in accordance with laid down procedure. The matter is now with Deputy Secretary-General of KNUT, Hesbon Otieno and the National Chairman of KUPPET, Omboko Milemba.
“We now call on P1 A-Level Teachers Pressure Group Regional Coordinators to present the list of the affected tutors so that the matter can be addressed once and for all,” said Mshambala.
Meanwhile, the group has appealed to the Commission to consider paying in full the salary arrears once the P1 A-Level teachers are upgraded to Job Groups ‘M’ and ‘N’.
“The Commission should focus first on teachers who were in employment in1996 when the promotions for In-service teachers were effected, before considering the lot that was employed in 2003 and thereafter,” said Mshambala.
The official, who expressed confidence in TSC to bring the matter to an end after disagreements that have lasted for over 20 years, said the Commission is under obligation to correct the ‘professional misconduct’ it (TSC) committed in 1996 by promoting untrained teachers who had undergone a two-week training to ATS-IV, leaving out their counterparts who trained for the regular two years.
“It is the time the Commission exercised equity and fairness by upgrading all P1 A-Level teachers who went through the regular training to Job Group ‘M and where applicable ‘N’,” said Mshambala.
The official noted that in 2010, they were unprocedurally promoted from P1 to Approved Teacher Status One without being offered promotion letters of each grade they went through. They missed out on Job Groups ATS-IV, ATS-III and ATS-ll. “These grades were not captured in the letters of promotion.
“Procedurally, you are moved from P1 to ATS-IV then ATS-III, followed by ATS-II then ATS-I. This was not the case in the 2010 promotions; the progression was not captured properly in the records which led to the P1 A-Level teachers to lose a lot in terms of salary increments – hence on retirement, it will be extremely difficult for the Director of Pension to trace our progression in grades,” said Mshambala.

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