News / Africa

Kenya Government Says Teachers' Strike Illegal

Children work on their teacher's table inside a classroom as a nationwide strike, by Kenyan teachers demanding a salary increase, left most of the country's learning institutions paralyzed in Nairobi, June 25, 2013.
Children work on their teacher's table inside a classroom as a nationwide strike, by Kenyan teachers demanding a salary increase, left most of the country's learning institutions paralyzed in Nairobi, June 25, 2013.
Peter Clottey
Kenya’s government has called for dialogue with the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) after saying the group’s ongoing strike is illegal.

The teachers' strike has disrupted classes in public primary and secondary schools across the country.

Labor Cabinet Secretary Kazungu Kambi dismissed KNUT’s demands that the government implement a 1997 agreement calling for improved living conditions for teachers. But, Wilson Sossion chairman of the KNUT says the administration has reneged on its part of the agreement.

“That is political mischief by some quarters of the government who don’t want to face reality,” said Sossion. “Yes, the strike is legal because the matter at hand has been a longstanding dispute between us and the government. I can assure that the teachers of this country are prepared to stay out of their classrooms for as long as it takes.”

Sossion says the KNUT suspended a previous strike last February after a public appeal. But he said the current strike is continuing because government has yet to implement the 1997 agreement despite the goodwill and commitment that the teachers have demonstrated.

But Labor Cabinet Secretary Kambi called on the teachers to end the strike.

“KNUT does not have a case and I would advise them to get a collective bargaining agreement. Going to the streets does not solve the issue but coming to the table solves almost all the issues,” Kambi said.

Sossion says there is no need to re-negotiate the agreement since it was signed in 1997. He says the administration should keep its part of the agreement.

“What the government should do is to outline how it is going to implement the CBA [Collective Bargaining Agreement], rather than to purport to invite us to the negotiation table,” Sossion said. “So the government is being mischievous, to say the least.”

KNUT demands payment of allowances set out in a 1997 collective bargaining agreement, which amount to shillings 41 billion [$478,692,630].

Sossion also criticized a government plan to provide laptop computers to public school students. He said the government should instead allocate funds to resolve the impasse with teachers.

Supporters of the government dismissed the accusation, saying President Uhuru Kenyatta promised to provide computers to students as part of campaign promises made in the run up to the general election.

Clottey interview with Wilson Sossion, KNUT president
Clottey interview with Wilson Sossion, KNUT presidenti
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge 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.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid