, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 7 – The annual Kenya National Union of Teachers delegates conference kicked off in Nairobi on Sunday.
Delegates are expected come up with the next course of action at the three-day conference, following failure by the government to settle an outstanding pay dispute.
The conference follows the November 19 National Executive Council (NEC) meeting where KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion said a resolution was reached that if the pay talks failed, a motion for industrial action would be passed during the annual National Delegates Conference.
“This will be the first time in the history of the union that a National Delegates Conference will have a rare opportunity to vote for an industrial action,” Sossion said.
The KNUT officials are lobbying for the increase of basic pay for teachers saying most were living in deplorable conditions and grappling with a high cost of living.
The government is however adamant that the proposals by the teachers’ cannot be met at this time since the prevailing economic conditions are not conducive.
The government also contends that the Salaries and Remuneration Commission should be involved to ensure the deal complies with the law.
Day one of the conference began with the women’s caucus which is keen on establishing the role of women in the labour movement.
The main conference will begin Monday and will be opened by Deputy President William Ruto, with Education Principal Secretary Kipsang’ Belio expected to attend.
The Teachers Service Commission Secretary Gabriel Lengoiboni will also speak at the conference.
The issue of security for teachers especially those in high risk areas is also expected to feature following the Mandera killings where 22 teachers were killed causing the teachers union to warn its members to leave the areas until security is beefed up.