, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 27 – The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has now obtained orders summoning both the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) and the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) to court as the standoff occasioned by the countrywide strike enters its third day.
In a paid up advertisement in the local dailies, the TSC said the application was certified as urgent and summons for the appearance of the teachers unions was issued.
The application to be heard before Justice Linnet Ndolo requires the representatives of both unions to appear at the Industrial court on Friday morning.
“Whereas the Petitioner has filed Petition No. 22 of 2013 against yourselves and a Notice of Motion dated 25th June 2013, has been filed in the said petition and upon appearance in court on 26th June 2013, service upon you was ordered by this advertisement you are hereby required to appear before the industrial court on Friday 28th June 2013 by yourselves or by your representatives for the hearing of the Notice of Motion dated 25th June 2013,” the advert stated.
Speaking to Capital FM News however, KNUT chairman Wilson Sossion describes the action of TSC as a ‘gimmick’ aimed at destabilising teachers in the fight for their rights.
“I want to tell you this that as teachers, we will not be cowed by such attempts. We will continue fighting for our rights and nothing will dissuade us from the path we have chosen until we get our dues,” he said.
The summonses come even as President Uhuru Kenyatta held a crisis meeting with Education Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi with his Labour and National Treasury counter parts Kazungu Kambi and Henry Rotich to try get teachers back to class.
Both the Labour and Education Secretaries have termed the national mass action as illegal but KNUT states that it is a protected strike.
According to Kambi, the teachers only have a Gazette Notice that they have been holding for a period lasting three or so different governments and that it could be varied by anyone at any time.
Kaimenyi on the other hand said that Legal Notice 16 of 2003 superseded Legal Notice 534 of 1997 which KNUT wants implemented in full.
He also supported Kazungu’s move to declare the teachers’ strike illegal and asked them to return to class as negotiations are carried out.
The KNUT chairman said that the agreement reached in 1997 had been gazetted and could not be arbitrarily overturned.
He accused Kambi and his Education counterpart of trying to hoodwink Kenyans by terming the mass action illegal and stated that the attempts would only fuel their mass action.
He described teachers as learned people and that any attempts to deny them their rights would be resisted.