Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Strike looms as teachers demand Sh25 billion pay

By MIKE MWANIKI [email protected]

Another strike by teachers looms if the Government fails to disburse Sh25 billion in allowances. The teachers are demanding that the pay be included in their January salaries.

Knut officials led by chairman Wilson Sossion and secretary-general David Okuta on Tuesday gave a seven-day notice to the Teachers’ Service Commission to effect the payment.

This follows the repeal of the contentious legal notice Number 16 of 2003 which was tabled before a select committee of the 10th Parliament by former Mutito MP Kiema Kilonzo.

“The Government should not invite unnecessary pressure from teachers by failing to implement the payment of house, medical and commuter allowances with effect from January 1, 2013, following the repeal of the contentious legal notice,” Mr Sossion said.

Speaking during a press conference held at Knut headquarters in Nairobi, Mr Sossion also took issue with Education minister Mutula Kilonzo for failing to degazette the contentious legal notice despite a request by Knut officials to do so ten days ago.

In the report tabled before the select committee by Mr Kilonzo on January 3, the House had urged the Education minister to de-gazette the TSC (Remuneration of Teachers Amendment order 2003 gazetted in the Kenya Gazette supplement Number 17 of February 21 2003 as legal notice Number 16 of 2003.

During the press conference, Mr Sossion and Mr Okuta were flanked by Knut steering committee members Xavier Nyamu (deputy secretary-general), Richard Kibagendi (acting national treasurer), Dorothy Muthoni, Samson Kagumo and Mr Wycliffe Omucheyi.

At the same time, the union asked political parties to carry out peaceful campaigns ahead of the March 4 General Election and condemned acts of hooliganism which rocked parts of the country. A teacher who was a presiding officer was stabbed to death in Nyanza.

“We want peace to prevail during and after the elections and we are therefore urging politicians to midwife democracy in the right manner... The fiasco witnessed should not be allowed to occur again,” Mr Sossion said.

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