Instead of the Government engaging us meaningfully, its officials have resorted to strategies of intimidation, including instructing the police to arrest us
— Knut Chairman Wilson Sossion
|Archbishop Eliud Wabukala with Kuppet officials led by Secretary General Akelo Misori and Chairman Omboko Milemba at All Saint Cathedral in Nairobi.|
By Moses Njagih and Vitalis Kimutai
Children in public primary and secondary schools are set to endure more suffering as the teachers’ strike over a pay dispute enters its second week, with no end in sight.
On Sunday striking teachers declined to yield to sack threats issued by their employer, Teachers Service Commission (TSC), and told the Government to prepare for a second week of intense national industrial action.
The teachers were talking tough saying they would not yield to what they termed intimidation by TSC as their strike, which has paralysed learning in all public schools, will only end when their conditions are met.
Kenya National Union of Teachers ( Knut) and Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) stood their ground, insisting they would not accept anything other thanfull implementation of their pay agreement. “The week that ended was just a rehearsal, we are now coming to the true phase of the strike. And we are telling the Government that for as long as it continues not reading between the lines, this will be the mother of all strikes,” warned Knut Chairman Mr Wilson Sossion.
At a press conference at Knut’s headquarters, Sossion urged teachers to ignore a directive by the TSC that they report to their schools on Monday for a roll call. He instead urged them to assemble at their branch offices for further instructions.
“The teachers must ignore any other instruction or directive unless it is spoken (issued) by the union’s Secretary General. Those issuing the threats must know that when workers withdraw their labour, they do not take instructions from anywhere else but the union,” said Sossion.
Insisting they had not been served with court orders stopping the strike after the ruling that it was unconstitutional, Sossion said, even if service will be done, they would not call off the industrial action until their demands are met.
It was the same tough message that officials of Kuppet were issuing after attending prayers at All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi.
“From Monday the strike will go into a second and critical phase where the teachers will go to Kuppet offices across the country to peacefully demonstrate against the employer,” said union Chairman Mr Omboko Milemba