Junior secondary teachers hold demos demanding better pay, permanent terms

Monday, May 13th, 2024 12:36 | By
TSC CEO Nancy Macharia
TSC CEO Nancy Macharia. PHOTO/@TSC_KE/X

Junior secondary school teachers in Makueni and Nakuru County took to the streets in demonstrations on Monday, May 13, 2024, demanding better pay and employment on permanent terms.

In Nakuru, the demonstrations saw 2,419 teachers from 11 sub-counties joining forces, vowing not to return to school until their demands were met. Their requests include the confirmation of interns and compensation for the internship period.

Court order

These teachers are adamant that the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) must adhere to a recent court ruling that declared intern teacher positions illegal.

Employment and Labour Relations Court (ELRC) ruled three weeks ago that the commission had violated their right to fair labour practice by offering them internship positions despite their qualifications and possession of teaching licenses.

Justice Byrum Ongaya's ruling stated that the commission's mandate is limited to hiring only those who are qualified and registered, not student-teachers or interns.

The teachers are now demanding permanent and pensionable employment terms. At a gathering in Wote, Makueni County, spokesperson Erastus Mawewu expressed their frustration at being paid a meager Ksh17,000 despite their qualifications.

"We are frustrated because the agreement was for a one-year contract, non-renewable. We filed a case in court and were assured that internship contracts were illegal," Mawewu stated.

"As patriotic teachers, we have dedicated ourselves to our profession, teaching under the new curriculum, often covering material we were never taught during our university education. Despite our qualifications - four years of university study - we are being paid a mere 17,000 shillings," he added.

Feeling sidelined

"We have sacrificed our time and efforts for the betterment of our students. Yet, we feel sidelined by the very government we voted into power. Our stance is clear: we will not report back to work until we are recognized and treated fairly," he concluded.

This protest occurs as schools are reopening for the second term following a prolonged break due to devastating floods across the country.

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