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KNUT puts looming teachers strike on hold

By Edwin Nyarangi | Published Thu, August 30th 2018 at 12:51, Updated August 30th 2018 at 12:55 GMT +3

The Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) has put on ice the scheduled teachers strike.

Secretary General Wilson Sossion (pictured) on Thursday said the strike that was to kick off on September 1, has been put on hold until conclusion of talks with the Teachers Service Commission (TSC).

Sossion assured teachers across the country that the consultations to be carried out between September 30 and October 5 this year between teachers union and their employer will determine whether the teachers will go on strike or not.

Speaking during the Masaba North KNUT Branch Annual General Meeting in Nyamira County on Thursday, Sossion said that the issues they have raised still stand and that teachers will continue teaching until they are addressed. 

"Teachers were supposed to down their tools at the beginning of this term, however we have decided to put the strike on hold until the end of September when we will be meeting with the Teachers Service Commission to iron out the contentious issues," said Sossion.

The KNUT Secretary General said that Teachers would not attend any trainings to be carried out over the weekends and that he had spoken to Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed who has agreed to have them suspended.

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Sossion said that if they do not succeed in any of the items they have raised with the TSC the whistle was ready for the declaration of a mother of all strikes in October and that the teachers should be on a standby mode.

He said that they held a detailed meeting with TSC and that they were ready to negotiate with the Teachers employer as along as it honours all their demands with the meeting providing an opportunity to avert the teachers strike for at least one month after which they will decide on the way forward.

" If TSC agrees to implement what we have asked then we will have no reason for a strike, but if it fails then it should be blamed when learning is paralysed one month from now," said Sossion.

KNUT National Treasurer John Matiangi said that the CBA they signed with TSC was very clear and that the employer went ahead to roll out Teacher Performance and Appraisal Development (TPAD) without consulting the trade unions representing teachers and that they would not accept Teachers spending a lot of time in cybercafes downloading forms.

Matiangi said that evaluation of how teachers worked was to be done once a year in consultation with trade unions that signed the CBA and that during their meeting with TSC there was not a single documenting showing when they agreed on the implementation of TPAD.

" Teachers are supposed to be in class teaching our children and not in cybercafes downloading the TIPAD forms, I hereby declare that TIPAD is dead as from this September, we are not going to allow our members to go for this forms any more since we did not agree on this," said Matiangi'.

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