, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 8 – The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) officials now say they are ready for dialogue with the government should it present a reasonable offer on the table.
Speaking to Capital in the Morning show at the beginning of the third week of the nationwide strike, acting Secretary General Mudzo said the union will consider every offer presented before deciding on whether to call off the strike.
He however says they will not be intimidated by any arm twisting tactics from anybody.
“We are prepared even today to call of the strike. If the government can say that out of the Sh47 billion, we have Sh30 billion, we will call on the National Executive Council even tomorrow and tell them, that we needed Sh47 billion but the government has Sh30 billion,” he pointed out.
“Can we let go the Sh17 billion for the benefit of the children of Kenya and for patriotism. So we are ready.”
Chairman Wilson Sossion had earlier told the government to stop what he termed as threats and instead “put money on the table.”
He reiterated that teachers were ready for negotiations, rebutting claims that they had refused calls for dialogue by the government on the matter.
He maintained that the union was open for constructive dialogue saying the teachers were also concerned about students in public schools who continued to miss crucial studies.
Nzili further accused the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) officials of being used by the government to undermine KNUT.
“Long time ago, you had of miracle babies of Deya. KUPPET are miracle babies of the government. These are the government miracle babies union. They are there to serve the government. That is why teachers of Kenya have seen that they are there to serve the government and as a result they are running away,” he said.
KUPPET national secretary Edward Obwocha however, told Capital FM news that the union is solely focused on addressing the issues facing teachers.
“I want to wish the other union well in their struggle to get something for teachers. If they can get something then well and good. If they deliver, then that is good. I just want to tell them that as KUPPET we have delivered an antelope, let them deliver an elephant,” he said.
He reassured teachers that KUPPET had not sold them out but had instead gained ground in their negotiations.
“I want to assure teachers that as KUPPET, we are there for you. We have been able to deliver something. And we will continue fighting to ensure that the secondary school teachers are not discriminated and they get their best because we know their level of education also,” he stated.
He urged teachers to go back to class as the benefits were already being actualized.