The Teachers Service Commission has faced a blow when a labor court halted the implementation of vocational development training programs that would determine the promotion of teachers.
The court observed that there is no valid TPD program for implementation as there is no regulation by TSC on TPD programmes.
“The teacher’s professional development (TPD) module in dispute will not be implemented because they fall short of the professional development programs prescribed by the Teachers’ Service Commission,” Employment and Labor Relations Judge Byram Ongaya said on Friday.
However, the TSC termed the court’s decision as wrong and would move the court to challenge it.
“We are considering the decision and we are highlighting areas where the judge made a mistake in the law and facts and we will immediately move the matter to court,” TSC attorney Timon Oyucho told the Star yesterday.
The court observed that the commission is expressly authorized to issue TPD through a regulation. TPD programs are applicable to all registered teachers and not only to members of KNUT or teachers in employment of TSC.
“TPD programs are to be determined by regulation. And disputed TPD programs are not issued through a regulation through parliamentary safeguards,” Ongaya said.
KNUT argued that the TPD program would change the terms and conditions of service for its members and that they should be imposed prior to its roll out.
TPD would have seen over 312,060 teachers pay for vocational upgradation courses, which were to be conducted during the holidays.
The commission unveiled the new policy in April last year, requiring teachers to undergo training after every five years or face dismissal.
Each level of training used to take five years and is structured in such a way that teachers would move from one stage to the next, from one stage to the sixth during their 25-30 year teaching career.
With regard to the performance measurement instruments, the judge directed the TSC to convene verification meetings to finalize the performance measurement instruments by December 1 for roll out in January next year.
The TSC will then take administrative steps to get the equipment to the individual teachers at their respective stations of deployment.
The judge said it was clear that Nat participated in the development of the devices through meetings and benchmarking studies.
During the hearing, the commission told the court that any attempt to withhold the performance measure supported by KNUT would be unconstitutional.
The Commission argued that performance management tools used to measure employee productivity are the management prerogative of any employer and cannot be withheld.
TSC’s lawyer said, “It is against labor practice known around the world for employees to dictate to employers how they want or need their performance to be evaluated…”
The TSC will also be required to make teacher promotions in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Code of Teachers’ Regulations and Schemes of Service in respect of all federally qualified teachers eligible to be included in the NAT.
Making that conclusion, the court said that the parties may consider reviewing the existing schemes of service with a view to bringing them into alignment with the existing CBA pay structure without deviating from the provisions of the CORT on teacher promotion.