Teachers strike is there to stand despite court order-Sossion

KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion/FILE

Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Secretary General Wilson Sossion has maintained that the teachers strike that started yesterday January 2 is still on despite a court order suspending it.

Sossion stated that the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) is frustrating the talks as they failed to show up for the scheduled meeting called by the conciliation committee.

“They have defied this conciliation. They were invited for this meeting. They have defied the Cabinet Secretary for Labour who urged them to cease all hostility,” he said.

Sossion further noted that teachers will not report to schools and maintained that not even a court order will stop them.

Schools were to be opened today on Wednesday January 3.

On Friday, the union gave its oral submissions and issued preconditions for any dialogue to take place.

Issues that KNUT want discussed include teachers’ promotion and delocalization, performance contracts and teachers professional development modules.

“We want teachers whom are present and happy in every classroom to deliver quality teaching and to that we are not backing out. We will continue exercising our entitlement in the constitution and human right,” Sossion said.

A meeting between KNUT steering committee and the conciliation committee from the Ministry of Labour seeking to avert the looming teachers strike failed to bear much fruit on Saturday.

Following the closed-door meeting, Sossion said that similar efforts by the labour Ministry have failed due to the lack of good will by the Teachers Service Commission.

He stated that as long as the Commission stuck to its plan not to promote teachers and continues with transfers, there will be no conciliation.

The union issued a strike threat in December saying they will protest teacher transfers and lack of promotions.

TSC transferred 3,094 head teachers of primary and secondary schools to different institutions across the country, a move that drew sharp criticism from the union.

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