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Knut, Kuppet agree to end strike when govt meets their demands

13 January 2015, 09:24 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi – The teachers unions have agreed to end the ongoing strike only if the government agrees to fulfill their demands as provided in the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) entered between the two parties.

Knut and Kuppet national officials said they will no longer sign any return-to-work formula with the government instead of the CBA because the government has been reneging it severally, making it difficult to resolve the teachers’ salary increment demands.

Speaking during the Unions’ joint press conference, Knut Secretary General, Wilson Sossion said the government is yet to resolve 38 items provided in the CBA despite holding a series of consultative meetings with the government from 2012.

“We have now come together to start the strike and deal with the government on common front not for Knut or Kuppet but for all workers of the republic. We are telling our members to let schools remain closed and teachers remain away until agreeable negations are attained,” said Sossion.

The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) had called on the two unions to call off the strike saying the teachers’ salary increment demands will be met upon conducting a comprehensive job evaluation exercise, which Sossion has lashed on ground that the process is not provided for by any law.

“We are not going into the business job evaluation with TSC for teachers’ salary increase but negotiate upon the CBA as provided by law. Education Cabinet Secretary has been spreading propaganda that the government has offered teachers KES 9.3 billion yet it has only given KES 5.5 billion,” said Sossion.

Read Also: Sossion denies KES 1 million a month salary claims

“Had it resolved all the 38 items, would we be on strike? We are not mad to call for strike if all teachers’ demands are met. In fact, none of the 38 items has been resolved to our satisfaction. Such propaganda will not stop the strike or divide the unions,” he added.

Kuppet Secretary General, Akelo Misori said Kenyan teachers are the poorly paid public servants in the region and urged teachers to remain firm on the strike until their demands are met.

“For the lowest paid teacher in Job Group G, who are the majority, the increment offered translates to a mere KES 200 per month which is taxable while the highest paid teacher, totaling to 61 Chief Principals, the offer translates to KES 500 per month taxable and takes effect on May 1, 2015,” said Misori.

He said teachers will not accept any proposal to devolve the Education sector because it will affect the system, saying that that will not end the strikes but would instead worsen the situation by devolving the strikes to all counties.

"Security and Education are sectors that cannot be devolved in this country and we as teachers will not accept and if done, we will vote it out during the referendum," said Misori.

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