NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 17- Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) on Saturday announced suspension of the two-week teachers strike to allow the Industrial court to arbitrate the negotiations with the Teachers Service Commission (TSC).
Speaking after a National Governing Council meeting, KUPPET Secretary General Akelo Misori said they are optimistic that a solution will be found to allow teachers focus fully on their mandate.
“The council accepts that teachers resume work on Monday, January 19, 2015 at 8am without failure. The council also accepts the Industrial Court to be given a chance to arbitrate on this dispute and therefore suspends the strike that commenced on January 7, 2015,” Misori told journalists.
The council meeting included KUPPET’s branch executive secretaries from the 47 counties, 12 nominated women representatives and the 10 board members.
The union has however, called for the withdrawal of all the cases facing the teachers who were arrested during the strike.
“Orders of 14th January did indicate that no teacher will be victimised over the period of the strike, because it was a legal strike. We therefore extend this appeal to the arms of government who could have had problems with teachers to have their cases withdrawn,” he urged.
On Friday its counterpart Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) also formally called off the strike with high expectations that the Industrial Court will resolve the pay row dispute.
However, the move of the two unions comes amid critics that they have not attained their targets of ensuring that the teachers pays are increased, something that Misori disagrees with.
“To the best of our understanding the strike has achieved because initially the TSC had indicated that they are not discussing anything to do with basic salary and that there will be no salaries increment at all. But we are now convinced the court route will not be defied by this government,” Misori said.
Among other demands, the teachers have been seeking a 200 percent pay rise but the government has remained adamant due to what it terms as managing the wage bill in the country.