NAIROBI, Kenya, August 31 – Teachers in various parts of the country boycotted classes Monday following orders from their unions to go on strike over non-payment of the 50 to 60 percent pay rise awarded to them by the Employment and Labour Relations Court.
At the Nairobi Primary School, most teachers did not turn up for work and the ones present did not teach, making good their strike threat as other schools remained closed awaiting re-opening Tuesday.
In Laikipia, tutors allied to the Kenya Union of Post Primary School Teachers vowed to go on strike and said they would boycott duties until the government meets their demands.
“Today, as teachers of Laikipia, we have already started our strike and we have said that we are paralysing all learning institutions in our county. There is not one single school, nursery, primary or secondary that will open today. We have already mobilised our members and we are not fearing because we have said that if the government is not going to obey a court order, who else can they obey?” the Laikipia Kenya Union of Post Primary School Teachers branch Executive Secretary Daniel Wangenye wondered.
Wangenye said that teachers will not relent in their demands until the government honours the court directive.
The situation was the same in Kisumu as learning was paralysed after teachers heeded orders from their union officials to go on strike.
The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) in the meantime stated that there will be no negotiations with the Teachers Service Commission on the salary increase awarded to tutors by the Employment and Labour Relations Court.
Speaking to Capital FM News, Secretary General Wilson Sossion indicated that TSC should be seeking ways of paying teachers rather than resorting to delay tactics.
He pointed out that no learning will take place in schools from Tuesday until the teachers are paid the full amount owed to them.
“The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has not complied and they should be communicating with teachers on to how they intend to comply. We had a meeting with them last week on Wednesday when they invited us and they assured us that they will comply with the court order and they are aware about the timelines,” he said. “They told us that they had even written to Treasury to ask for money and they should be giving us progress reports on their efforts and not issuing threats that they have not received notices from us.”
Sossion stated that teachers who boycotted class on Monday should not be intimidated by any threats since they are covered by the strike which he terms as legal.