News / Africa

Kenya Teachers Demand Improved Conditions

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta inspects the honour guard before the opening of the 11th Parliament at the National Assembly Chamber in the capital Nairobi, Apr. 16, 2013.
Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta inspects the honour guard before the opening of the 11th Parliament at the National Assembly Chamber in the capital Nairobi, Apr. 16, 2013.
Peter Clottey
The chairman of the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) says his group’s members want a “sensible” commitment from the government to meet their demands for improved living conditions.

Wilson Sossion says previous governments have failed to meet teachers’ demand for improved conditions despite of repeated promises.

The teachers group demands payment of allowances set out in a 1997 collective bargaining agreement with the government, which amounts to shillings 41 Billion [$478,692,630].

“To indeed see any further progress with the government we want sensible commitment of our demands which have been pending for the last 16 years. Otherwise, we are not prepared to go for unproductive talks with the employer, the Teachers Service Commission [TSC],” said Sossion. “If government allocates money with the Teacher Service Commission, that is when we can move to engage in negotiations.”

Kenya’s deputy president, William Ruto, directed the TSC to urgently convene a meeting with the KNUT to avert a looming strike. Mr. Ruto says his administration would not want the teachers to embark on another round of strikes, saying that would negatively affect students.
 
But, Sossion says the teachers do not trust the government’s directive. He says the group is tired of empty promises.
 
“That is a loose directive [and] it’s not a productive directive to us,” Sossion said. “The deputy president should have directed the treasury to release money to the TSC. If that was done, fine, then we would go for negotiations.”

Sossion says members want to go on strike if the administration refuses to allocate funds to meet their demands.

“If government stays put and insists with its current position, then they can be very sure in the coming days we would be out on strike because we can’t allow this kind of business to go on for years where agreements are not honored and the teaching service is deteriorating over time, [and] teachers continue to suffer,” said Sossion.

Supporters of the government say the new administration needs time to resolve teachers’ concerns. Sossion disagreed.

“We are dealing with the government. We are not dealing with individuals. Even if we were, the same individuals have been in government and they have been cabinet secretaries so they are very much aware. So it is not a new thing,” said Sossion.

Sossion was talking about both President Uhuru Kenyatta, who was a former finance minister, and Deputy President Ruto, who was a former minister for Higher Education.
Clottey interview with Wilson Sossion, KNUT president
Clottey interview with Wilson Sossion, KNUT president i
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment 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.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid