The Kenyan Teachers Service Commission has asked teachers in the country to cancel their planned strike, urging a return to negotiation table where new offers await. But the teachers are not willing to accept the 'bribe'.
Teachers in Kenya have been urged by the government to shelve their proposed strike with a promise of new offers and a resumption of negotiations on the 3rd of January.
Student Pulse gathered that the teachers, under the umbrella of the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT), had called for a nationwide strike from January 5th, the date schools resume from the holidays.
KNUT claims the government failed to honour previous agreements, even after signing a return to work formula on July 18, 2013, Kenya’s Capital FM reports.
But the CEO of the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), Gabriel Lengoiboni, says the teachers should terminate their planned strike since negotiations will resume soon, just two days before the proposed strike date.
He promised the teachers ‘new offers’ at the negotiation table.
"It was expected that negotiations would resume in January when the TSC would table a comprehensive document detailing the government response and/or offer on the Unions' demands,” Lengoiboni said.
"The call for strike action is therefore uncalled for, preemptive, unjustified and unnecessary, as the avenues for engagement have not been exhausted."
Lengoiboni said the union's long list of 38 demands created the need for exhaustive consultations, hence the delay in negotiations which were postponed since November 27.
"There was also need for wide and exhaustive consultations with the relevant government agencies, including the National Treasury and the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) in order to ensure equity in remuneration, affordability and sustainability of the public wage bill," the TSC boss said.
He urged KNUT officials to attend the meeting where negotiation will continue towards a complete and conclusive Collective Bargaining Agreement to cover the period July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2017.
Members of the union claim that the TSC has withdrawn certain allowances and believe that the call for negotiation is only a reaction to the planned strike.
The TSC boss denies both allegations.
All schools in Kenya are scheduled to resume on January 5th.