Pay revolt by rival teacher unions intensifies

June 24, 2013 7:04 pm


Teachers gather outside the Treasury during previous strike action/CFM
Teachers gather outside the Treasury during previous strike action/CFM
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 24 – A meeting between the Kenya Union of Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET), the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), Salaries and Remunerations Commission (SRC), and the Education Secretary ended in a stalemate on Monday.

Addressing the press after the meeting which took a better part of the afternoon, KUPPET Secretary General Akelo Misori stressed that the strike by the union was on and members would not resume work until their concerns are addressed.

He blamed SRC chairperson Sarah Serem of being an obstacle to the negotiations as she presented no fruitful counter offer.

“Our members are supposed to proceed with the strike. The strike is on and we can only communicate otherwise when the government puts a tangible proposal on the table. The strike continues and our teachers should be steadfast because we are likely to be on for a very long time,” he stated.

“There was not presentation of any proposal from the government side and we could not accept anything to call off the strike,” he said.

Chairman Omboka Milemba welcomed the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) to the strike action, stating that with their combined effort, they would make a strong statement.

“We first went to welcome the Kenya National Union of Teachers to the strike. The talks we have had today have not borne any fruit and as a result, the strike continues even tomorrow. If you are given work, it is good to do it properly. The Salaries and remuneration Commission should pull up its socks and wake up by bringing tangible proposals to the table,” he said.

Education Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi however called on both KNUT and KUPPET to get back to work and give dialogue a chance.

Speaking after the meeting with KUPPET officials, TSC and the salaries commission, Kaimenyi stated that the strikes will affect both students and parents adversely.

He pointed out that their demands cannot be dealt with immediately and appealed to both unions to hear his plea.

“Because of the consequences of this strike to the parents and children, it will affect us in one way or the other. So in the interest of harmony and peace, we advise KNUT and KUPPET to withdraw the strike,” he said.

He indicated that following President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive that teachers concerns should be addressed as quickly as possible, he will do everything within his power to reach an amicable solution with the tutors.

“In the spirit of the government responding to the concerns of our teachers which indeed are legitimate, you heard his Excellency the President give me a directive to deal with this issue within three days and that is exactly what we are doing so let nobody imagine that this matter began today,” he said.


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