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KNUT calls off looming teachers strike

By Edwin Nyarangi | August 31st 2018
Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed with KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion. [Gideon Maundu/Standard]

The Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) has temporarily suspended a nationwide strike, pending ongoing talks with the Teachers' Service Commission (TSC).

Knut Secretary General Wilson Sossion yesterday said the strike, which was to start today, had been put on hold. However, he averred he would not hesitate to call an industrial action, between September 30 and October 5, should TSC fail to heed their demands.

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

Speaking during the Masaba North Knut Branch Annual General Meeting in Nyamira County, Sossion said all the issues they had raised must be 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.

Among other things, Knut has opposed trainings that TSC wants teachers were to attend on weekends. Sossion said he had also spoken to Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed who agreed to have them suspended.

Sossion said he will blow the whistle calling for the strike in October if TSC fails to address any of the issues they have raised.

"If TSC agrees to implement what we have asked for, then we will have no reason for a strike. But if it fails, then it should be blamed when learning is paralysed across the country," said Sossion.

He added: "We are willing to start talks with TSC as along as it honours all our demands. The meeting we are planning will provide an opportunity to avert the teachers strike for at least one month as we decide the way forward."

Knut national treasurer John Matiangi accused TSC of going against the CBA they signed by going ahead to roll out Teacher Performance and Appraisal Development without consulting them.

"We will not accept the idea of teacher spending more time in training. TSC was to evaluate teachers once a year."

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