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Teachers issue 14-day strike notice after talks with TSC hit dead end

By Antony Gitonga | Published Thu, October 4th 2018 at 14:49, Updated October 4th 2018 at 14:53 GMT +3
KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion flanked by senior officials from the union address the press in Naivasha after the collapse of their talks with TSC.

The Kenya Union of Teachers (KNUT) has issued a 14-day ultimatum to the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to address their grievances or face unspecified action.

Terming a strike as one of the consequences, the union lashed out at the teachers’ employer for running away from responsibility and lying about the Naivasha meeting.

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The move came a day after TSC issued a statement, accusing KNUT of giving fresh demands during their five-day retreat in Naivasha.

The fall-out has raised fears of a strike with KCSE and KCPE exams set to start soon.

Teachers are demanding an immediate stop to delocalisation, wants more than 30,000 promoted and an immediate stop to ongoing performance appraisals.

Addressing the press at Panorama Hotel in Naivasha, KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion denied claims that they walked out of the meeting.

Instead, Sossion said it was TSC commissioners who asked for time to review the demands by teachers afresh.

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“We have been shocked by TSC statement as it is full of lies and we are giving them 14 days to address our grievances or face the consequences,” he said.

Flanked by senior union officials, Sossion said they would not relent on their demands, which include cancellation of transfers of union officials.

“TSC has silently transferred 110 union officials from different parts of the country to weaken KNUT, but we shall not be cowed,” Claimed Sossion.

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On delocalisation, Sossion accused TSC of ignoring directive by President Uhuru to suspend it. He added that the ongoing transfers have hurt families and teachers’ morale.

KNUT accused TSC of evading issues on teachers’ promotions, which formed the core part of the Naivasha retreat.

“By failing to promote teachers as enshrined in the code of regulations, the employer is denying teachers Sh6.6 billion annually. We shall not stop until our demands are addressed,” he said.

KNUT National Chairman Wycliffe Omuchei criticized TSC leadership, saying it is misleading the country over the Naivasha meeting.

He said their patience is running out, with the TSC shifting goals and issuing contradicting statements over the teachers’ grievances.

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