, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 13 – The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has finally released July salaries for more than 190,000 teachers who participated in the countrywide strike.
Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Secretary General Mudzo Nzili told Capital FM News that the monies had been wired into teachers’ accounts and they should start receiving them by Tuesday.
He urged teachers to check their accounts and praised them for the patience they showed during the delay.
“Comrades, we can confirm to you that TSC has released the July salaries and check your bank accounts as from tomorrow. Solidarity Forever,” he said.
He further thanked President Uhuru Kenyatta for his intervention during the deadlock which was occasioned by the strike.
“We sincerely thank his Excellency the President for ordering teachers to be paid their July salaries in full,” he stated.
The government had agreed to pay teachers their withheld July salaries on the understanding that they will recover the time lost when they were illegally absent from school.
President Kenyatta however had made it clear that the government was being compassionate with the teachers by agreeing to pay them, since their strike was clearly in breach of the law.
He said it was necessary for all unions to abide by the procedures laid down in their Collective Bargaining Agreements and to fully exhaust dispute resolution mechanisms as provided for in law, before taking industrial action in order to guarantee stable industrial relations.
He reminded the public that the government had said that it would not pay teachers who were on strike for the days they did not work in July.
We sincerely thank his Excellency the President for ordering teachers to be paid their July salaries in full- Nzili.
In his statement, Kenyatta asked KNUT to work with the Teachers Service Commission to ensure that teachers’ attendance in schools improves beyond the bleak picture of 50 percent painted in a recent report.
He urged the teachers to carry out extra lessons during the second term to bring schools up to speed with the time lost during their strike.
He also cited the Labour Relations Act (2007) Section 80 (1) b which states that an employee who takes part in a strike that is not in compliance with the provisions of this Act – that is an illegal strike – is deemed to have breached the employment contract and is not entitled to any payment or any other benefit under the Act, in the period of the illegal strike.
The Employment Act 2007 Section 17 states that an employer shall pay the entire amount of the wages earned by or payable to an employee in respect of work done by the employee in pursuance of contract of service directly.
The stand came after the teachers union agreed to call off their second planned strike after the matter was taken over by the president last week after meeting KNUT officials at State House.
At the time, KNUT Chairman Wilson Sossion urged the teachers to continue delivering their services with zeal and devotion in order to finish the syllabus within the given timeline.