KENYA: GOVERNMENT ORDERS TEACHERS BACK TO WORK

16 Jul 2013 07:54

NAIROBI, July 16 (BERNAMA-NNN-KBC) -- Teachers who do not report to work Tuesday will automatically face disciplinary action, the Kenyan government said. Education Cabinet Secretary Professor Jacob Kaimenyi says the government will no longer entertain what he termed as jokes by teachers union, after KNUT disowned an agreement it had entered into with the government on Saturday that would see commuter allowance offered by the government paid in two phases instead of the initial agreed three phases. The development comes at a time when teachers faced off with the government in court after KNUT officials were charged with contempt of court. The Teachers' Services Commission (TSC) on Monday morning began its submissions seeking to commit to six months civil jail Kenya National Union of Teachers -KNUT chairman Sossion and Acting Secretary General Mudzo Nzili for failing to call off the teachers strike. This follows the expiry of 15 day period ordered by the court for the concerned parties, â€" KNUT, TSC and the labor ministry, to negotiate and file a report to the court on the progress made. KNUT responded saying TSC should be charged with contempt of court for blocking the salaries of the teachers and deducting 10,000 shillings from some of the teachers who received their June salaries. The Industrial Court judge hearing the application made by the Government and the teacher’s employer TSC against the striking teachers stayed the proceedings Monday and ordered TSC to serve KNUT with an affidavit, further directing it to respond within 48 hours. The new affidavit was objected by TSC who alleged that KNUT officials made it hard for their court process server to serve them. KNUT argued that the union was forced out of the negotiating table after realizing that the Ministry of Labor was not keen on implementing legal notice number 534 of 1997 and 16 of 2003, on which teachers have based their demands. The union also claims the labor cabinet secretary had no powers to nullify a gazette legal notice. Through its lawyer KNUT maintained that it’s against the law for TSC to deduct salaries of its employees saying that on that account alone, TSC is in contempt of court. The proceedings will continue Wednesday this week. On Sunday, KNUT failed to call of the strike, stating that the National Executive Council (NEC) will take a vote to end the strike, now for about twenty days, once the government honors their demands for better pay. -- BERNAMA-NNN-KBC

MHS