NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 28 – The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) on Sunday warned the government of ‘dire consequences’ if teachers are not paid their full July salaries plus negotiated commuter allowances.
Speaking to Capital FM News from Bomet, KNUT Chairman Wilson Sossion said the teachers expect to find their salaries in their accounts by July 31 and if not, the government will be inviting another crisis with teachers.
“The government is courting crisis and it is acting in bad faith of the return-to-work formula. We expect teachers to get the full amount of their July salaries and commuter allowances in their account. There will be dire consequences than the strike itself,” Sossion warned.
He said the government was provoking teachers when it announced that they will not get their July pay because of the three-week strike earlier in the month.
According to him, the action will push teachers to retaliate; “there will be dire consequences, you wait and see. It will not be easy for the government unless they want to spoil the education system of this country.”
According to Sossion, the return to work formula that saw teachers call off the strike meant that there will be no victimisation by either of the parties.
He said the government will be acting in violation of the agreement if it will not pay the teachers their full July salaries.
On Saturday, Cabinet Secretary for Education, Science & Technology Jacob Kaimenyi said that teachers who went on strike will not get their July salaries.
The government has maintained that the strike was illegal and termed the three-week work boycott as absconding from duty.
Following the 24-day strike, Kaimenyi on July 17 ordered for the closure of all public primary schools, a decision that was overturned a day later after KNUT called off the strike.
After a meeting with the government and the union, KNUT accepted the offer for commuter allowance of between Sh2,900 for the lowest earning teacher and Sh11,000 for the highest earning which was to be paid in two phases over the next 12 months.
Meanwhile, KNUT is pursuing an appeal against a court ruling that imposed fines of Sh500,000 on Sossion and Acting Secretary General Mudzo Nzili after they were found guilty of contempt. The union was also slapped with a Sh5 million fine.
Justice Linnet Ndolo last Monday ruled that the union officials chose to ignore a court order to call off the nationwide teachers’ strike in contravention of court orders.