KNUT in fresh strike threat set for September
Written by Frankline Bwire
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KNUT Secretary General David Okuta with the National Executive Council members during the Knut Busia branch Annual General meeting held at Lwanya primary in Busia District. [PHOTO | Frankline Bwire | West Fm]
Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) has threatened to hold a nationwide teachers strike by September if the government does not respond to their 300 per cent salary increment demand.
Knut Secretary General David Okuta said teachers should prepare to down their tools immediately the whistle will be blown, if at all the government will not have held negotiations with the union leaders by the set time.
“It is going to be a real protracted strike that will ensure schools are not opened. We have given the government the month of July and August to talk to us and negotiate before our set deadline,” he declared.
Speaking during the Annual General Meeting of the KNUT Busia branch held at Lwanya primary school, Busia District, Okuta said that the union was not happy to go on strike, but due to the suffering teachers were going through in their line of duty with very low payment.
“The government should recognize that teachers are going through several challenges as they undertake their tasks and hence should increase their salaries and allowances,” said the Secretary General.
He implored teachers countrywide to remain united and get set for the demonstration when called by the union if at the government will remain reluctant to increase their salary by 300 per cent.
“We must remain united to ensure our demands are implemented,” said Okuta, remarks that were echoed by the National Executive Council members Dan Oloo from Coast, Elizabeth Nduta-Nairobi, Clement Omollo-Nyanza and Mark Oseno-Busia.
“We should be set for the demonstration as teachers and immediately the whistle is blown we should unite. Already we have prepared the ‘vuvuzelas’ and women should compose songs for the demand of the increment as they prepare food for their husbands,” said Nduta, adding that their togetherness will make them win.
Also present was the KNUT Busia branch chairman Nyumba Musundi and the branch treasurer Gervas Makokha.
However, while on a Bungoma West District tour, the Minister for Education Mutula Kilonzo at Kibichori primary school had assured the teachers thatthe government through his ministry is determined to amicably address problems affecting teachers in the country. He had also urged the teachers to engage with them rather than opting for protests.
In September 2011 teachers downed their tools to protest the government refusal to implement the third face of the 2007 salary increment.
The move compelled the government to enter into an agreement that ended the strike with a promise that the pay review will be accommodate in the 2012-2013 financial year.