NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 17 – The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) is scheduled to announce on Monday when the teachers’ strike will begin.
KNUT Chairman Wilson Sossion told Capital FM News to expect the news any time from 10am, “We will be giving the way forward at a press briefing at the KNUT headquarters,” he said.
Sossion has given the 2013/2014 budgetary estimates as the reason for the strike saying that it has not factored in funds for the recruitment of teachers or for the promotion of those currently employed by the government.
“Who is going to teach those children how to use laptops? How do you allocate Sh53 billion for laptops and then turn around and say there is no money to pay teachers?” he posed.
The teachers had wanted a Sh50 billion allocation to go toward harmonising their salaries with those of other civil servants and Sh20 billion to go toward the hiring of 64,000 teachers.
If it takes off, this will be the seventh strike called by KNUT in the last 20 years and Sossion is adamant that they will only consider ending the strike once all their demands are met.
“God commanded the children of Israel to go round the walls of Jericho seven times. On the seventh round, the walls came down tumbling and the enemy was defeated – Israel captured Jericho. This will be the seventh strike by the teachers of Kenya over their allowances and salaries since 1997. JERICHO WILL COME DOWN!” Sossion posted on his Facebook page on Sunday.
Teachers in Embu have vowed to join in the strike and stay out of the classroom until their salaries reflect those of other civil servants through the full implementation of the 1997 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) entered into with the government.
This will be the seventh strike by the teachers of Kenya over their allowances and salaries since 1997. JERICHO WILL COME DOWN!
“We love our jobs and the children that we teach. We also support the government of the day but only to the extent that it subscribes to the rule of the law and honours the Legal Notice No 534 of 1997,” KNUT Assistant Secretary General Mudzo Nzili said during a meeting with Embu teachers on Sunday.
It is the second time teachers have threatened to strike this year with the first time being over the revocation of hardship allowances in some areas by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) following the remapping of Kenya from Provinces to counties.
The impasse between KNUT and the TSC was however resolved amicably with the TSC agreeing to use provinces as their geographical guide when paying out hardship allowances as that was what was in effect when the 1997 CBA was signed.