, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 5 – The government has convened a crisis meeting with teachers’ unions to resolve the crippling strike that entered its third day on Wednesday.
Education Minister Mutula Kilonzo said the meeting at the Ministry of Labour headquarters at NSSF Building was aimed at ending the strike that has seen learning paralysed in all public schools since the third term opened on Monday.
He however maintained that teachers will have to lower their demands as the government cannot afford a 300 percent salary increment for one sector.
“Taking cognisance of the government’s concern for the welfare of the learners and teachers, the government wishes to confirm its commitment to amicably resolve the current strike through dialogue,” Kilonzo said.
“To facilitate the urgent resolution of the issues raised a meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday at 3pm. During my tenure I am not going to tell you any lies because I would like to sleep comfortably as I do without worrying about the promises I make. So the 300 percent increase is out of the question.”
The meeting was to be attended by among others, Permanent Secretaries in the Ministries of Finance, Education, Public Service, Labour, the State Law Office and representatives from the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) alongside the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) plus the Kenya Union for Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET).
Kilonzo at the same time condemned acts of violence witnessed in Siaya on Tuesday and called on the striking teachers to responsibly exercise their rights and told the police to use reasonable force as prescribed by the law.