TSC teachers in acting capacity to start getting special duty allowance

TSC teachers in acting capacity to start getting special duty allowance

Teachers employed by Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and are acting as administrators will soon get paid for their services.

This is after a lawmaker introduced a Bill in Parliament that seeks to effect payment of allowances and also limit the period in which teachers who take up administrative roles can act in a position before being confirmed.

If passed by the National Assembly, the Teachers Service Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2024 will benefit scores of teachers who have been acting in administrative roles without monetary compensation.

In addition, there are thousands of teachers who have not been promoted, yet they merit, due to inadequate allocation of funds to the Teachers Service Commission (TSC).

In March, the commission promoted 36,505 teachers but left out many others who had been interviewed and were acting as administrators.

Last year, TSC struggled to attract applications for vacant positions as a result of teachers’ failure to meet the requirements a situation blamed on long periods of stagnation in the same job groups.

“The Bill seeks to entrench fairness for teachers holding positions in acting capacity so that the TSC can give the appointments in a structured manner,” Mandera South MP Abdul Haro said while giving his submission to Parliament.

The Bill seeks to amend Section 11 of No 20 of the TSC Act, 2012 by inserting a new paragraph to read: “In consultation with the Salaries and Remuneration Commission facilitate payment of allowances to teachers in the manner set out in the Fourth Schedule”.

The Bill also proposes the insertion of a new Section 32A in the No.20 of 2012.

The proposed new section sets the minimum number of days that the TSC can appoint a teacher to an acting capacity at 30 and up to a maximum of six months.

It further states that teachers who are not qualified for a position should not be appointed to act.

“A teacher appointed shall only act in one position at a time. A teacher appointed in an acting capacity shall be entitled to a special duty allowance,” the Bill reads.

“The Commission shall, in the absence of qualified teachers, pay special duty allowance to teachers appointed to perform administrative duties which are not commensurate to the teaching grades or who are stationed in arid and semi-arid lands.”

Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) Secretary-General Collins Oyuu voiced his support for the Bill, saying that it is in the interest of teachers.

“It’s popular labour practice that one shouldn’t act for more than six months. We have many teachers in acting capacity who cannot demand an acting allowance. The TSC is in charge of promotions but it is sub-county directors who appoint teachers in acting roles,” said Mr Oyuu.

He said TSC circumvents the law by failing to issue appointment letters for teachers in acting roles but rather referring to them as “assignment of duties”.

One such letter seen by Nation reads: “It has been decided that you be assigned duties of a head teacher with effect from… Please note that this assignment is temporary”.

The letter makes no reference to monetary compensation.

The allowances that teachers qualify for include house allowance, commuter allowance and leave allowance.

Others include hardship allowance for those deployed to schools in places gazetted as hardship areas, leave and responsibility allowances.

In April, the matter of allowances and promotions came up for discussion during a retreat between the TSC and the Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet).

However, the parties did not agree on the compensation of teachers on acting appointments.

“Kuppet held that acting administrators deserve acting and special duty allowances as provided under the Code of Regulations for Teachers. The commission claimed that acting positions were abolished by SRC circulars, and therefore were not compensable. Kuppet maintains that the commission is doubly violating the law by using acting administrators and not compensating them,” the union said in a statement after the retreat.

TSC and Knut top officials met in a retreat held in Naivasha, Nakuru County ahead of the phase 2 July salary increment for teachers.

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