Kenyan Teachers Go On Strike

The Trade Unions Congress of Kenya (TUC-Kenya) on Tuesday asked the government to respect the courts’ ruling that raised teachers’ pay by 50 to 60 per cent.

TUC-Kenya Organising Secretary Charles Mukhwaya said teachers should carry on with the strike that has affected learning in some parts of the country until their pay is raised.

“The Sh1.4 billion due to teachers is nothing compared to what Kenya loses to corruption,” Dr Mukhwaya told reporters in Nairobi.

TUC-Kenya, he said, would mobilise other workers to join the strike called by the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) if the government continues to defy the court orders.

Dr Mukhwaya, at the same time, asked Teachers Service Commission Chief Executive Officer Nancy Macharia to resign for failing to comply with court orders.

TUC-Kenya is the umbrella body for unions representing teachers, civil servants, lecturers and other workers.

More to follow.

Kenyan teachers had earlier called a nationwide strike following a dispute with the government over a 50 – 60% pay increment awarded by the courts.  

While the Kenyan government says  it has no more to pay the teachers, the teachers’ union says its members will not report  to work on Tuesday, the first day of school this term.

On Monday last week, Kenya’s  Supreme court, the highest court in the country ruled that the teachers must be paid  their August salaries with the increment.

In January this year the more than 288 000 teachers went on strike, when the dispute moved  to the industrial court, the court ruled in their favour granting them 50- 60% pay increment.

The government however says it does not have the money needed to pay the teachers  amounting to about R170 million .
The government through the National Treasury Minister  Henry Rotich says all three option of getting the money would have serious implications  on Kenya’s economy.

They include increasing taxes, borrowing from lenders or cutting  expenditure. Several schools are deserted as parents heeded the Unions’ call to keep  their children at home as the dispute continues.

The Kenyan government has termed  the strike illegal.

 

Daily Nation/ SABC