Storm in judiciary over new job grading structure by Judicial Service Commission

A serious storm is brewing in the Judicial Service Commission over a reorganization of the staffing structure being implemented through a program known as the New Grading and Salary Structure.

A source has told Kurunzi how there is growing unrest in the judiciary corridors over a move to declare positions redundant which has “resulted in merging, restructuring, retention or abolition of jobs”.

The move being executed through Judiciary Chief Registrar Anne Amadi’s office follows recommendations of a report commissioned in 2018 – the Organization Reorganization Report (2018) but sources say the plan has been turned into a witch hunt and a political weapon used against those perceived to be anti-establishment with the powers that be in the JSC.

The report, allegedly, recommended the collapsing of Judiciary grades from 17 to 11 “in line with the job evaluation and grading results”.

New academic qualifications have been introduced on existing positions resulting in holders of those positions being declared redundant, something that has vexed a majority of staffers who now claim they have been targeted unfairly with the intention of frustrating them to quit.

“If a degree was not required when you were employed then someone cannot now make it a mandatory requirement then use that to declare redundancy,” the source who preferred anonymity told Kurunzi.

“This is a scheme targeting people of a specific opinion, persuasion and communities and it must not be tolerated. We will fight this injustice to the very end because it is against the constitution and labour laws in this country.

“It is a shame that the judiciary is now being made a culprit of undermining the law to frustrate its own employees.”

Curiously, letters signed by the Amadi to those affected have proposed new offers to the ‘redundant’ employees and even maintained their financial perks, the latter fact meaning the Kenyan taxpayer will not get value-for-money because people will be earning salaries which are higher than the positions they hold are entitled to.

Positions abolished

“The approved judiciary career guidelines outlines the academic and professional qualifications for appointment […] Records held in your personal file indicate you possess[…] and hence you do not meet the minimum requirements for re-designation to a position with the grade,” the letters read in part.

“Consequently, the Judicial Service Commission at a meeting held on 29th September 2022 considered the position you were holding has been abolished.

“The Commission has, however, subject to your agreement, considered to offer you a fresh engagement and appointment as […] where you meet the minimum entry requirements.

“Your remuneration will be frozen at current notch […] your other terms and conditions of service remain the same.”

Questions linger about what the essence of the new grading system is when the people affected are being “fresh engagement and appointment” yet their duties remain the same. Further, it is unclear if the JSC intends to employ new staff to fill the vacancies occasioned by the lack of academic qualifications and what happens should those ‘redeployed’ “later pursue relevant certifications” as encouraged by Amadi in her letters.

Kurunzi is aware, and is in possession, of the JSC letters and court documents which will form the basis of a series of stories on this story of exploitation of Kenyan workers by government institutions.

If you have any further information and more material on this and other stories of unfair labour practices, please send them to or via WhatsApp to +254735223554. 

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