KENYA, Nairobi, Dec 27 – The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) on Saturday declared that teachers would go on strike from January 5, when schools are set to re-open.
KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion told a press conference that the government had failed to honor previous agreements made after signing a return to work formula on July 18, 2013.
“Please take note that on the expiry of this notice, if no solution will have been found, all members of KNUT shall commence the strike on 5th January, 2015 as directed by the Annual Delegates Conference (ADC),” he explained.
He said no teacher will be on duty when schools re-open in two weeks time unless the government responds to its demands.
“And that effectively tells you that there will be no teacher in any classroom of Kenya in primary, secondary schools and tertiary institutions,” he said.
Sossion further explained that teachers decided not to stage the strike earlier to allow students to sit their national exams and avoid inconveniencing them and their parents.
After holding a half day meeting at their headquarters in Nairobi, the teachers said they had given the government seven days from December 29 for it to meet its demands.
“The Union as directed by ADC hereby serves the Cabinet Secretary for Labour, Social Security and Services and the Chief Executive of the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) with a seven day notice from Monday, 29 December 2014, of intended strike and subsequent withdrawal of labour by teachers for the demands issued to the employer,” he said.
According to Sossion, KNUT has been holding deliberations with the TSC to have terms and conditions of service of teachers reviewed.
KNUT in the two years of negotiations has been pushing TSC to negotiate and register a Collective Bargaining Agreement.
According to Sossion, the government has failed to implement the agreement made hence the action to take to the streets.
He explained that TSC failed to honour its pledges even after teachers obeyed a court order in which they were directed to return to work after the government promised to consider their plea.
“As of today, the Consultative Committee on Terms and Conditions Service of registered teachers has failed to come yup with any agreement on the demands of the union and to comply with the Court’s directive on 18th July, 2013 due to lack of genuine commitment on the part of the commission,” Sossion argued.