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KNUT officially calls off 2 week teachers strike

16 January 2015, 16:32 Victor Tinto

Nairobi - The Kenya National Union of Teachers KNUT has ratified the decision to call off the nationwide strike, saying it trusts the Industrial Court to land a resolution.

The union, in a national council meeting Friday, confirmed that it had dropped the strike notice for now and left the court to deal with the much needed dialogue to solve the current impasse.

Secretary General Wilson Sossion said that the union would still not budge in its plight to ensure teachers get their basic pay increased, terming the current state of the public service pay structure as ridiculous.

" How can a clerk who has just completed form four earn a basic pay of KES 35,000 and a trained teacher with high standards of education earn KES 16,000. Where is the fairness?" Sossion asked.

He added that the union had agreed to let teachers return to class on the premise that there would be positive results derived from the talks that will be chaperoned by the Industrial Court.

" There has to be something for teachers. We have waited too long. We have stuck through this for way too long. Teachers deserve their dues and it has to be now," he added.

The government, through the Teachers Service Commission TSC has said that it will not agree to an increase unless their terms are met.

They have insisted that teachers must undergo a strenuous 8 month long job evaluation process before talks can begin on an increase.

Sossion says that KNUT will still not agree to the evaluation.

" It is unacceptable and we will not agree to it at any cost, he said of the evaluation process. They should first evaluate why lesser trained individuals are earning way more than teachers at the moment. How does that auger with them?," he accused.

He urged teachers to get back to class on Monday and ensure they resume duty with the vigour they usually have, knowing that the union is looking out for them.

" At exactly two minutes to 2, as a consequence of our commitment to the process of the Industrial Court and orders issued therein on Wednesday, I now officially and formally declare the 12th strike of the Kenya National Union of Teachers officially called off, " he shouted.

KNUT will send their submissions to the court starting Monday to press for their demands, with the TSC expected to do the same a week later.

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