, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 17 – The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) is due to move back to the Industrial and Labour Relations court next week in a bid to have the court order that tutors should not be victimised and their September dues paid forthwith.
The union’s National Treasurer John Matiang’i described the delay by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to pay September salaries as a tactic used to victimise teachers who participated in the strike.
“Whatever it will take, TSC will pay the teachers their September salary. Third party deductions from teachers are also being held by TSC as from July and August for reasons not known. This is totally illegal. The steering committee is working tirelessly to ensure that this TSC obeys court orders, abides by the laws and their constitutional mandate,” he said.
Many teachers have complained about the hardships they are undergoing as a result of non-payment of their dues.
The union wants Industrial and Labour Relations Court Judge Nelson Abuodha to state the way forward based on the non-compliance of his orders by TSC.
The TSC has moved to the Court of Appeal to challenge the Industrial and Labour Relations Court decision that teachers were within their rights to go on strike that paralysed learning in public schools for a month.
In its suit papers, the commission states that Justice Abuodha equally erred in ordering the strike to be suspended for 90 days so that negotiations on how the pay increase awarded should be made.
“Justice Abuodha erred in law and in fact in not appreciating that the strike, which had been called by the unions had been found unprotected in the same case that was before him and by a judge of concurrent jurisdiction,” the commission stated in its application.
According to TSC, this was an error on the part of the judge because the commission had already appealed against the award and a ruling is set to be delivered by the Court of Appeal next month.
It pointed out that Justice Monica Mbaru, also of the Labour Court, had already found that the strike was unprotected and therefore Justice Abuodha should not have issued the orders that the striking employees be paid.
Abuodha had last month directed teachers to resume duty immediately.
He also ruled that the work boycott was within the law and ordered the Labour Ministry to appoint an arbiter within 30 days to ensure that the 50-60 per cent pay rise is effected in full as ordered by the court and arbitrate on the dispute.
He had noted that the politicisation of the issue created more tension between the parties.
The commission however disputed the finding by the judge that the State had declined to pay the monies saying that there was no evidence to show that it had defied the orders of the court.