18 February 2013

Kenya: KNUT Eldoret Tells Teachers to Begin Their Strike Today

Three branches of the Kenya National Union of Teachers in Nandi yesterday said 8,000 primary schoolteachers will down their tools today.

National executive council officials Boniface Tenai, Knut's 1st national trustee, Josephat Serem representing Rift Valley and Peter Sitienei, executive secretary of Nandi Central, asked teachers to withdraw their services until the government addresses their issues.

Speaking on behalf of the officials, Tenai who is the Nandi east executive secretary, asked candidates to support the teachers' strike because they are meant to improve the quality of teaching and address their welfare.

He disagreed with Cord presidential candidate Raila Odinga assertion that the government is incapable of addressing disputes because "it is a caretaker government" in an election mood.

Tenai asked Education minister Mutula Kilonzo to respect the verdict of a departmental committee on delegated legislation that recommended the degazetement of 2003 legal notice whose aim was "killing" an earlier one of 1997 which gave teachers fringe benefits.

The 1997 notice gave teachers 50 per cent of their basic salary as house allowances, 20 as medical and 10 as commuter but was cancelled by the 2003 one.

"The union will go round schools to ensure no teaching takes place until issues were addressed," Tenai said.

Sitienei said all union representatives have been informed on the strike and dismissed TSC threat saying it could have been better if they addressed the teachers demands.

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