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 One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs