News / Africa

    Kenya Teachers Strike to Begin Monday

    A girl stands next to her locked classroom as a nationwide strike by Kenyan teachers demanding a salary increase left most learning institution paralyzed, in Nairobi, September 5, 2012. A girl stands next to her locked classroom as a nationwide strike by Kenyan teachers demanding a salary increase left most learning institution paralyzed, in Nairobi, September 5, 2012.
    x
    A girl stands next to her locked classroom as a nationwide strike by Kenyan teachers demanding a salary increase left most learning institution paralyzed, in Nairobi, September 5, 2012.
    A girl stands next to her locked classroom as a nationwide strike by Kenyan teachers demanding a salary increase left most learning institution paralyzed, in Nairobi, September 5, 2012.
    Peter Clottey
    The secretary-general of the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) said members of the group will embark on a nationwide strike Monday to press home their demands for better pay.

    This comes despite an Industrial Court ruling declaring the strike action is unconstitutional.

    But, David Okuta Osiany said the strike was necessary after the government refused to negotiate with teachers in spite of what he said were repeated appeals.

    He said the strike will continue until government meets their demands.      
                                                  
    “What we demand [are] the allowances as contained in legal notice 543 of 1997.  Secondly, salary increment of up to 300 percent if possible, or any agreed amount by the government," he said. "We also want responsibility allowances like head sheep allowance for both principals and heads of schools and generally improved terms and conditions of service.”

    Osiany said the government increased salaries of some workers, but has yet to do the same for teachers.

    “In February, we started writing to our employer to give us an avenue of negotiations.  We have written letters and letters, but none has been replied to.  We told the government that, if they don’t want to negotiate with us, then we shall have no option, but to call our teachers out on strike,” said Osiany.

    He said the government has yet to keep its part of an agreement it signed with the teachers.

    “Our request for the government to honor the payment of allowances, as were agreed upon by us and the government in 1997, has always fallen on deaf ears.  Therefore, the teachers of this republic have decided to down their tools,” said Osiany.

    “We wanted some salary increments for the teachers or we wanted an avenue of negotiation, [but] the government does not want to negotiate with the teachers.  So, what do we do?  That is why we called the strike,” he said.

    Kenya’s media reported KNUT representatives closed their offices and left town, which prevented court officers from serving them with the court’s decision.  Osiany denied the media reports.

    “That is not true. We can’t run away because we have a very big office in Nairobi.  We have not been served and in any case, we gave the government 17-day notice as is provided for in [the] Labor Relations Act. Seventeen days elapsed [last] Thursday,” Osiany said. “Our employers woke up after the days of the notice have elapsed to go and secure a court order.  That court order, according to me, has been overtaken by events.”

    Observers have expressed concern that the strike will have a negative impact on students who are preparing for their examinations.  They contend that the teachers will be engaging in illegality following the court order.  But, Osiany disagreed.

    “That court order, if it is, it was taken ex parte.  We are also ready to go and argue our case and it being unconstitutional or illegal will then be decided later,” Osiany said.

    Clottey interview with David Okuta Osiany, Kenya's Teachers Union
    Clottey interview with David Okuta Osiany, Kenya's Teachers Union i
    || 0:00:00
    ...    
     
    X

    You May Like

    California Republicans Mull Choices in Presidential Race

    Ted Cruz tells state's Republican Convention delegates campaign will be 'battle on the ground, district by district by district,' ahead of June 7 primary

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, many Kurds are trying to escape turmoil by focusing on success of football team Amedspor

    South African Company Designs Unique Solar Cooker

    Two-man team of solar power technologists introduces Sol4, hot plate that heats up so fast it’s like cooking with gas or electricity

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora