, NAIROBI, Kenya Jul 10 – The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) has told teachers to ignore the deal sealed between the government and rival Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET).
KNUT national chairman Wilson Sossion termed it as a “raw deal to teachers that is unacceptable.”
“We are urging teachers to reject the deal and support us in pressing the government to give us a better offer,” he said.
“Surely one of our key contests is the implementation of the legal notice 534… Somebody goes to gloriously sign three phases so that teachers are given Sh3.5 billion. What was already running was Sh5 billion the gap is Sh11 billion you can’t give teachers what they are already earning, you need to get your mathematics right,” charged the KNUT chairman.
He continued; “When you split Sh11 billion into three years and you give teachers Sh3 billion this time across the 280,000 teaching workforce is that something that is worth smiling or even celebrating. It is a shame.”
He added that KNUT will not allow KUPPET to negotiate on their behalf.
Sossion who was reacting to the offer of Sh16 billion given by the government to the rival union urged the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to pay June salaries for all teachers.
KNUT Secretary General Mudzo Nzili has told TSC that the only way to end the teachers’ strike is by engaging KNUT, not KUPPET.
“The strike is not yet over. KUPPET didn’t even have a strike, engagement with KNUT is the only way of ending the strike,” he said.
Nzili added that “the more the government continues to hold on to the monies, the more they annoy teachers.”
“We are advising all teachers that following the annoyance caused by this morning’s events, that they should run to KNUT where the salvation of the teachers of Kenya lies,” the Acting Secretary-General told a news conference held at the union’s office.
He accused the government of using trickery and deceit in the negotiations.
“We demand that our commuter allowance to be paid at once. How do you stagger payment of Sh2,900 (for the lowest earning teachers) and Sh11,000 ( highest earning teachers) in three years?” Nzili asked.
He said the government was using KUPPET “to bring disharmony in the teaching movement.”
Sossion and Nzili said they will honour the court summons (when served) and refuted claims that had gone into hiding.
“We have not been in hiding. No one has threatened us. This is a union of with leadership and democracy,” Sossion assured the media. “I can tell you for free, that if were to leave the country today, the other leadership are ready to step in.”
“Tell those who have been posting all sorts of messages about our disappearance to post some news, because the duo is in town,” Nzili stated. “We will show Kenyans that we respect our courts and the rule of law.”
The two top officials of the teachers’ union face a fresh threat of being jailed after a judge allowed a new contempt suit against them.
Industrial Court judge Linnet Ndolo on Wednesday allowed the Teachers Service Commission, which had withdrawn the contempt proceedings against the union officials on Tuesday, to file a new suit against Sossion and Nzili.
The court is also expected to receive a report from the Labour Cabinet Secretary, TSC, Salaries and Remuneration Commission and Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers on the progress of negotiations as directed by the judge on July 1, when the orders stopping the strike were issued.