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Stop threatening teachers, Atwoli tells TSC

07 September 2015, 14:25 Arap Yego

Nairobi - Central Organization of Trade Union (COTU) Secretary General, Francis Atwoli wants the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to stop threatening to sack teachers who have boycotted classes.

Atwoli said going on strike is a fundamental constitutional right of any worker in the country and the commission cannot victimize any teacher, by threatening to dismiss any of them.

In a paid advertisement on local newspapers on Sunday, TSC through its chairperson Dr Lydia Nzomo warned teachers to resume duty or face the sack.

Dr Nzomo explained that teachers participating in the strike cannot claim immunity from employment laws when the employer commences disciplinary action which includes dismissal.

But speaking to News24, Atwoli sharply criticized TSC for what he termed as failure to correctly interpret the constitutional bill of rights before they issued a threat to send packing striking teachers.

Read Also: SRC: Teachers’ pay rise unsustainable

“It is laughable that TSC now wants to fire teachers for boycotting work. A strike is a constitutional right to any worker and the only way it can be avoided is through dialogue and negotiations, not threats,” said Atwoli.

The country’s workers union boss challenged the commission to persuade the state to pay teachers their money, instead of trying to frustrate them.

“Nobody and no institution in this country is above the law. TSC should respect the law and pay up the teachers as directed by the high court. Disrespecting the court order is a recipe for anarchy because soon institutions and people may start following suit,” said Atwoli.

He said Cotu is fully behind the teachers in their strike, noting that they will only stop if they are paid the funds they were awarded by the courts.

“As the umbrella body of workers in the country, we are in solidary with our KNUT and Kuppet brothers who are our affiliates, on this matter. In fact, next week we are having a meeting with all officials of Cotu affiliated unions to find a way forward for the teachers strike. We may soon ask all our union members to go on strike in sympathy and solidarity with the suffering Kenyan teacher,” threatened Atwoli.

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