No money, no teaching, Knut tells TSC

From left (seated): Knut National Treasurer John Matiangi, Chairman Mudzo Nzili and Secretary-General Wilson Sossion join other officials in singing after announcing the official start of the teachers' strike on September 2, 2015 at Knut offices in Nairobi. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP.

What you need to know:

  • Mr Sossion asked teachers to boycott work until the Teachers Service Commission honours the 50 to 60 per cent pay rise awarded by the courts.
  • He dismissed government claims that there is no money to pay the teachers, insisting the assertions were just "noise".

  • Teachers are reading "mischief" in the statement issued by Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich, he said.

The teachers’ strike officially kicked off on Wednesday after the Kenya National Union of Teachers endorsed the boycott and called on its members to keep off class.

Knut leaders, after a meeting of the National Executive Council, the union’s top decision-making organ, asked teachers to boycott work until the Teachers Service Commission honours the 50 to 60 per cent pay rise awarded by the courts.

“We are declaring the formal commencement of the strike and we are telling teachers not to go anywhere near a learning institution to teach. Parents should also keep the children at home as this fight for pay continues. Government, the ball is in your court, obey the court’s orders and pay the teachers promptly," Knut Secretary-general Wilson Sossion said.

NO MORE TALKS

He said that the union would not hold any talks with the government, and would not accept anything less than the 50 to 60 per cent increase awarded by lower courts and upheld by the Supreme Court.

“We shall not move an inch below what was awarded and we will only resume duties when all this is delivered. We are not negotiating with the court orders,” Mr Sossion told reporters in Nairobi.

He dismissed government claims that there is no money to pay the teachers, insisting the assertions were just "noise".

Teachers are reading "mischief" in the statement issued by Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich, he said.

TREASURY WARNS

Treasury Principal Secretary Kamau Thugge on Tuesday wrote to the Teachers Service Commission, which places the cost of the 50-60 per cent salary raise at Sh20.1 billion, warning of far-reaching economic consequences if they pay up.

Mr Sossion accused the government of rolling out a campaign to turn the public against teachers, adding that it would not succeed.

“The public will be a beneficiary of the teachers’ salary and, therefore, the government should cease on the machineries they have formed to poison the public against teachers,” he said.

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