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Teachers down their tools, ask Uhuru to intervene in pay talks

05 January 2015, 17:25 Joseph Njung’eh

Nyeri - The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) has asked President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene in solving the impasse pitting teachers and their employer, Teachers Service Commission (TSC).

KNUT Nyeri County executive secretary, Mutahi Kahiga said that learning in public schools will not resume if government fails to take quick measures.

Mutahi blamed Education Cabinet Secretary, Jacob Kaimenyi for the teachers’ strike that kicked off Monday, stating that ‘he is failing the government’s development policies in education sector’.

“We are asking the President to intervene because those he has mandated to manage education have failed. They are not addressing teachers’ issues logically,” said Mutahi while speaking to journalists in his offices in Nyeri town.

In Nyeri County, the more than 8,000 teachers heeded to the union’s directive asking them to keep off duty until the government addresses their grievances which include a 300 percent salary increase.

The last salary increase was in year 1997, according to Mutahi

Only head teachers, Mutahi said who went to their respective schools so that they can hand over institutional management to school boards chairmen.

“Parents should not allow their children to be in school there is no learning neither security until the strike is called off. We shall continue to strike even if its eternity,” he asserted.

Also read: Teachers set to strike as KNUT abandons pay talks

He further lamented that there were head teachers earning KES 24,000 after having been in service for 32 years.

“There are P1 teachers currently getting KES 16,000 despite being in service for 30 years. Government should also be considerate,” said Mutahi.

He accused the TSC of taking hard lines, intimidating teachers and refusing to fulfill a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) that was formed in October, 2013 following another major strike.

“We have stated our demands but TSC has not tabled its offer or response. Instead, the CS is insulting teachers unknowingly that his salary can cater for salaries of tens of teachers,” noted Mutahi.

He added that currently there is a shortage of 100,000 teachers and others are retiring from service without replacement.

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