News / Africa

Kenya Teachers Group Warns Government of ‘Dire Consequences’

Kenya Teachers protesting in front of Prime Ministers office in Nairobi during their protest in Nairobi. (File)
Kenya Teachers protesting in front of Prime Ministers office in Nairobi during their protest in Nairobi. (File)
Peter Clottey
The chairman of Kenya’s National Union of Teachers (KNUT) has warned of “dire consequences” if teachers’ salaries and allowances for July are not fully paid by the close of business Wednesday.

“It’s wrong for the government to violate an agreement and raid the payrolls of teachers to raise revenue to service [government] needs,” said KNUT chairman Wilson Sossion.  “Teachers’ salaries, together with the new commuter allowances which were agreed to end the strike, must be in their bank accounts by 31st of July, failure of which the teachers of this country will take drastic measures against the government.”

The teacher’s group accepted the government’s offer for commuter allowance of between $33 for the lowest earning teacher and $126 for the highest earning teacher to be paid in two phases over the next 12 months.

Sossion accused the government of provocation following an announcement that teachers will not get their July pay because of their strike.  KNUT executives suspended a three-week teacher’s strike following negotiations with the administration.

Sossion says KNUT has notified the Teachers Service Commission as well as various government institutions to pressure the administration to keep its promises.

“We still have a lot of energy to stage any other strike to prevent the infringement of our rights by the government,” said Sossion.

Sossion’s comments came after some government officials expressed concern about the country’s high wage bill. They proposed ways to cut down the wage bill and the broadening of the tax base to raise more revenue for the government. But Sossion says the teachers are not to blame for the high wage bill.

“That is not an excuse to punish workers. We are not asking for additional money. [They should] pay the salaries at the level that they have been paying. And so the argument of the huge wage bill has no correlation whatsoever with the running salaries of teachers,” said Sossion.

“So we have given our warning in black and white and we expect the government to comply. If it doesn’t we will further invoke the powers granted to us as a union by the Labor Relations Act.”

Supporters of the ruling party have accused the teachers group of creating a crisis in education through blackmail. They said the recent teachers’ strike was politically motivated. Sossion disagreed.

“We do not engage in politics as a labor union and we operate within the [confines] of the law and therefore we are quoting the law. We are not playing politics. It is government, which is playing politics.”
Clottey interview with Wilson Sossion, KNUT chairman
Clottey interview with Wilson Sossion, KNUT chairmani
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid