By Amos Burkeywo
Finance minister Njeru Githae and Knut officials have signed a deal to call off the teachers’ strike on Monday.
The State agreed to resolve the Ksh.13.5 billion pay hike deal in a one-off payment in October.
In an agreement signed at the Tribe Hotel in Nairobi, they agreed the payment will be backdated to July 1st and to be done in lump sum.
Thus the teachers are expected to resume teaching on Monday after a long span of strike which began early September.
On Saturday, the top decision making organ of the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) had refused to endorse the return-to-work deal its representatives had allegedly accepted on Friday night. Instead, they voted to press on into a fourth week of a strike involving over 260,000 public school teachers.
The Government had proposed to implement the re-alignment of teachers’ salaries to harmonise with the civil service in three phases as follows: Sh6.0 billion in July 2012, Sh5.0 billion in January 2013, and Sh2.5 billion in June 2013.
In addition, it had proposed that the third phase will be paid with the second phase in January 2013, if the revenue collection base improves substantially. If accepted, it would have ended the strike.
“We are telling our teachers to stay put; the strike is far from over. This is a human rights crisis we are prepared to take to any level, including to the international level.” Wilson Sossion, the Knut Chairman had said.
Xavier Nyamu, the Knut Deputy Secretary General had said the proposal did not address the plight of teachers.
The end of the strike comes at a time that the education of pupils both in secondary and primary schools had been thrown into disarray for three weeks particularly the KCSE and KCPE candidates who are due to sit for national examinations in October and November respectively.
In 1997, teachers went on a strike that lasted for 12 days.