Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Secretary-General Wilson Sossion has announced a nationwide strike, further hinting at the possibility of teachers not resuming duties when schools re-open come January 2021.
This was after the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and KNUT failed to agree on the disbursement of teachers’ funds.
Speaking while on Bomet on Sunday the 22nd of November 2020, Sossion noted that he does not have any other choice after the Commission failed to listen to them. According to him, going on a strike is the only way the national teachers’ body will listen to their concerns.
The government is innocent.
He further absorbed the government of all the blame, citing TSC is behind their misfortunes. According to the KNUT head, although other leaders are against the strike, teachers have no option.
“When we don’t get salaries and our resources to work, the only thing we can think about is war, and we are bringing it over to you (TSC). We have no problem with the government. We have isolated the employer,” Sossion said.
“We have been persuaded by key leaders in this country to refrain ourselves from organizing our members for a strike, but where it has reached, we cannot contain the pressure from our members.”
The KNUT boss further announced that the strike would kick-off in January when the students return to school.
According to the nominated MP, teachers and TSC signed a Collective Bargain Agreement (CBA). However, TSC has refused to follow the CBA and has instead blacklisted the document.
Sossion further noted that TSC has deliberately denied teachers a promotion despite a signed agreement. He also claimed that the only way TSC will listen to teachers is through a strike.
The KNUT head also warned that the teachers’ strike would be lethal, terming it as “the mother of all strikes.”
This threat comes a day after TSC asked the government to provide an additional ksh 18 billion to fund the school re-opening program set for January. According to TSC, this money is vital as the Commission seeks to recruit an additional 12,000 teachers.
KNUT and TSC have in recent months engaged each other in tussles over the CBA. KNUT also accused the Commission of causing teachers to leave the union after TSC failed to implement the CBA and raise teachers’ wages.