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Industrial court bans strike, orders teachers back in class

08 January 2015, 19:19 Victor Tinto

Nairobi - The Industrial court has banned the ongoing nationwide teachers strike and ordered classes to resume immediately.

The court stated in its ruling Thursday that the actions of teachers contravened the labour act and thus that it is illegal to continue with the strike action.

This followed an application by the Teachers Service Commission TSC to have the strike called off with immediate effect.

The court order though will likely emit more anger from teachers who are fed up with unfulfilled action as regards their salaries.

Earlier, the TSC said it will sack striking teachers, but teachers union KNUT said that the threats would amount to nothing.

The TSC has for long stated that it does not have the funds to heed teachers' calls for improved salaries and allowances and even after talks to try solve the current impasse, nothing has come to fruition.

And with the strike close to a week old, the TSC has threatened to sack teachers who are currently participating in it,even if they claim they are under union membership.

" The strike is illegal and I urge County Directors of Education to forward lists of teachers who are not attending classes for action to be taken," TSC chair Gladys Nzomo said Thursday.

" It is unfortunate we are at this juncture because some of the demands asked for by teachers are already improved and have been catered for," she added.

TSC insists that a comprehensive pay structure and package has been worked on and will only take effect in June after the new financial year has taken effect, as advised by treasury.

However in a rejoinder, KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion said that teachers should not be cowed by threats from TSC.

He said that it was unfair for the TSC to try victimize teachers who were striking by their own right and no other reason.

" We want to tell teachers that the strike is legal and they are protected and so no one should threaten them," he said of the TSC order.

Sossion accused TSC of pushing the real issues under the table in their plight to save face over the current pay impasse.

" They know the issue we have is legitimate and it is real. Why are they not addressing it as it is instead of throwing threats around?," he posed.

He added that the strike was not over until the fat lady sings.

" The strike will continue and will go on until we get our dues and come up with an arrangement. Until those are solved, we will not agree to any other arrangement and the strike will continue," he added.

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