Teachers strike ‘volatile’, Judge says - Daily Nation

Teachers strike ‘volatile’, Judge says

Thursday September 10 2015

Though the meeting at Uhuru Park, Nairobi, was poorly attended, the teachers insisted that the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) would not intimidate them into going back to class. PHOTO | JOHN NJAGI | NATION MEDIA GROUP.

Teachers at a meeting in Uhuru Park on September 9, 2015. They have insisted that the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) would not intimidate them into going back to class. PHOTO | JOHN NJAGI | NATION MEDIA GROUP. 

By ABIUD OCHIENG
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The court will next Tuesday issue directions as to whether or not the teachers will resume teaching before the case challenging the legality of the strike is concluded.

The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and the government through the Attorney General, want the teachers ordered to resume learning pending the determination of the case challenging the legality of the strike.

Mr Justice Nelson Abuodha of the Employment and Labour Court said issues raised by the teachers' unions and arguments by the Commission, are 'weighty' and will be heard on Tuesday before directions on the stalemate are issued.

“The issue of the teachers strike is volatile and all that is needed is to have all the parties heard before any orders can be made,” said Justice Abuodha.

TSC, through lawyer George Obura, has argued that teachers should be ordered to go back to class pending determination of the case after Lady Justice Monica Mbaru ruled that the strike is unprotected.

“As a result of the previous finding, the strike remains unprotected and so we should have teachers ordered to resume teaching. There shouldn’t be a question on whether the strike should continue,” said Mr Obura.

State Counsel Emmanuel Bitta said the strike is violating the right to education of children in public schools.

Lady Justice Mbaru had on Friday said the strike, which commenced on September 1, was unprotected given that the unions failed to comply with the law.

The Judge said although teachers had a constitutional right to commence a strike, they had to follow the parameters set out in law which requires that a strike notice be issued.

The Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) and the Kenya Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) asked its members not to teach until the government implements the 50-60 per cent pay rise.

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