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Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Teachers, Employer Squabble

The latest news reaching us on our news desk has it that
just when we thought that learning in Kenya had resumed without hiccups, teachers are threatening to sue their employer over September salaries.
This development ensued after employers of the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) failed to honor a court order which directed that teachers should be paid their September salaries.
Yesterday, Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) held a consultative meeting with its lawyers to strategise on the way forward following the misunderstanding between teachers and their employer.
The Kenya Post-Primary Education Teachers Union (Kuppet), said they will sue the commission if their salaries were not remitted to their accounts by end of day yesterday.

However, TSC said their lawyers are set to appeal against some of the orders issued by the court. They added that some of the orders were issued while an appeal case was ongoing.
One of the orders set for appeal include the one to negotiate with teachers’ unions concerning the methodologies to pay the salary increments in line with the budget cycle. Additionally, TSC might also appeal against the order to pay teachers, and not to victimize them.
According to TSC some teachers have not gone back to school as directed by the
court.
Speaking to Nation Knut Secretary, General Wilson Sossion said that the union was considering “many options” following the pay standoff. One of the decisions made was to sue the teachers’ employer for contempt against one of them.
“We wrote to the TSC last week to pay teachers by Friday midnight so as to comply with a court order. It is baffling to see that the TSC and the government have chosen to disobey the court order,” said Mr Sossion.
Mr Sossion did not confirm allegations that there was any go-slow among teachers. He added that teachers were demotivated as a result of the pay wrangles.

However, a post on the union’s Facebook page asked teachers to go slow as TSC delays September salaries. The comment reads: “Go slow. Teachers, as TSC delays with your September salary we proceed on a go slow as from tomorrow morning. According to Knut Secretary General Wilson Sossion, teachers complied with Aboudha’s ruling yet they have not been paid. Teachers cannot access loans as TSC has not remitted deductions to banks and Saccos for the last three months..the union has run out of funds, Knut branch officials too have not received their salaries due to holding of teachers contributions by TSC for the last two months of August and September. Go to school but simply stay in staff rooms or anywhere in the compound, but in classroom until your salary is paid.”
Commenting about the ongoing Form Four examinations, the union leader said the situation could affect the supervision of exams. He regretted that the refusal by Government to pay teachers has killed education.
The union, according to Mr Sossion is yet to receive any suit from TSC lawyers on the commission’s intention to appeal over some of the court rulings that put to an end the five-week teachers’ strike.
Teachers went on strike to push the government to pay them a 50 to 60 per cent pay increase as ruled by the court.
The court ruling that ended the tussle called TSC to enter into negotiations with the unions over the pay increase and not to victimize teachers over the strike in any way.
On the other hand, TSC said it had no money to implement such a pay increase. The only people to be paid by TSC are the 40,0000 principals, deputies and heads of departments who were working during the strike.
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