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Knut dares govt to impose pay cut on teachers

24 March 2014, 08:27 Dareel Eric

Vihiga - The Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) has warned the government against reducing teachers’ salaries in its bid to reduce civil servants' salaries to tame the rising wage bill.

Knut warned that the government would face the greatest revolution of all time if it dared to touch on the teachers' pay.

The giant teachers’ union criticised the government for its doublespeak regarding taming the walloping wage bill, even as President Uhuru Kenyatta gave a go ahead for Members of County Assemblies (MCAs) to be given grants that will run into billions of shillings.

Speaking at Chavakali High School in Vihiga County over the weekend, where he presided over a thanksgiving service cum fund raiser for the Endowment Fund, a kitty by the school that pays school fees for needy but bright students, Knut Secretary General Wilson Sossion, said pay cuts were unnecessary.

“Teachers will not allow under any circumstance even for a single cent to be deducted from their salaries in the name of pay cuts. We will not allow it as this will be inciting us to go to the streets,” Sossion said.

Sabatia MP Alfred Agoi, Knut National vice chair Wycliffe Omuchei, Vihiga county director of education Pamela Akello, Vihiga Knut executive secretary Dickson Atsiaya, attended the function.

Sossion said that teachers will not fear even being sent to the gallows and if it calls for dying for their rights, he was ready at any given time adding that he was ready to go to court over the same.

“I do not fear being jailed. In any case, I have already been to jail defending the rights of teachers and cannot fear being taken there again. If they touch on the teachers’ salaries, we shall go to court,” he said.

Omuchei scoffed at the Jubilee administration, terming its move on pay cuts unwarranted as the government itself was acting extravagantly.

“You cannot talk of pay cuts and a few days later you are giving MCAs car grants. It is utter ironical. There must be something drastically wrong with this government,” Omuchei said.

Sabatia MP Alfred Agoi noted that teachers are already being lowly paid and called on the government to improve their welfare.

“The move by the national government to reduce the soaring wage bill should not under any circumstance interfere with the salary teachers are earning now as we do not want to interfere with the academic performance in the country as the teachers will be psychologically affected,” Agoi said.

The leaders praised Chavakali High School for having made its presence felt countrywide by performing excellently in last year’s KCSE and further commended the school’s management for establishing the Endowment Fund.

The school’s principal Mr Indimuli Kahi, who is also the national vice chairman, Kenya Secondary School Heads Association, said the Endowment Fund that was introduced in 2010 and has really benefited many needy but bright students who are rather retained in school than being sent home.

“Other than an annual fundraiser, teachers at the school contribute a minimum of Sh100 monthly towards the fund,” Indimuli said.

He called on the old boys’ association to take up the running of the Endowment Fund on behalf of the school.

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