Kenyan teachers union suspends strike

A striking teacher

A striking teacher

The Kenyan National Union of Teachers (KNUT) has called a month long strike that has paralyzed the country and disrupted the country’s education programs and led to closure of public all public schools.

The teachers have been involved in the countrywide industrial action demanding the government honour the court ruling that awarded them a 50-60% pay increase.

The teachers’ union decision comes after the Employment and Labour Court order the teachers to halt the strike for 90 days as stakeholders workout a mechanism to raise their salaries.

Announcing their decision to return to classrooms, the Secretary General of KNUT Wilson Sossion instructed teachers to report back to schools on Monday but maintained the issue is not resolved.
“All teachers who are members of the Kenya National Union of Teachers will resume teaching Monday October 5, 2015 in accordance with and in obedience to the orders of honourable Justice,” Sossion said but stressed “the strike has not been called off, the strike is only suspended for 90 days.”
Some teachers within the union are not happy with its decision to suspend the industrial action and would have preferred standing their ground until the issue is sorted once and for all.
“The union has forced teachers to go back to school, our mission was for conciliation and arbitration in court to end,” one infuriated teacher was quoted as saying.
Two weeks ago, President Uhuru Kenyatta addressed the nation defiantly making the case against raising teachers’ pay unless salaries for all civil servants are increased as well as taxes.
The president argued this would have catastrophic consequences on the country’s whole economy.
“Ladies and gentlemen, Government is about service. I urge all teachers as parents, as public servants, and as Kenyans to reconsider their position on this matter, and to resume their duties, in the interests of our children,” Kenyatta said on September 20.