NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 17 – Deputy President William Ruto on Monday directed the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to urgently convene a meeting with the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) to avert a looming strike.,
Speaking when he met officials from the Ministry of Education, Ruto said the government would not want to see teachers go on strike at this time because it will impact negatively on students and pupils.
“There is no need for them to continue planning the strike as their funds will be available as agreed,” he asserted.
He further pledged that the government will honour the deal with the university teaching staff since the Treasury will provide Sh1.8 billion for their pay. The Deputy President asked the TSC to urgently engage teachers on their salary and other demands so that it can reach an agreement quickly.
“The Government will honour the agreement reached with university staff and Sh1.8 billion will be provided,” he said.
Ruto held talks in Nairobi with Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi and permanent secretaries Crispus Kiamba and George Godia, Treasury officials as well as the TSC led by Commission Secretary Gabriel Lengoiboni.
The University Academic Staff Union has threatened to go on strike on July 1 if their agreed salary increase was not implemented.
On the other hand, KNUT has also been demanding employment of additional teachers and provision for commuter, medical and hardship allowances and according to Ruto the government will consider their plea.
“We are aware of the need to increase the number of teachers so that we can have a better teacher to student ratio. We want to get some money to employ more teachers,” he pledged.
The teachers union has threatened to stage a nationwide strike from next month should the government not honour a pending pay deal that was reached in 1997 and which is being implemented in phases.
On Monday, KNUT Chairman Wilson Sossion said the National Executive Council would deliberate in the coming days, after which it will call a strike.