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Kenya: Court stops teachers’ strike, TSC transfers of union officials

A court has issued an order blocking the teachers strike that was to begin on January 2, and stopped the Teachers Service Commission from transferring union officials from areas of their election.

Justice Byram Ongaya issued the ruling hours ahead of the industrial action called by the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut). On the transfers, Justice Ongaya also asked the TSC (Teachers Service Commission to consider appeals by head teachers.”

TALKS

Talks between the Knut and the TSC, for the resolution of the dispute over promotions, transfers, performance contracting and professional development modules, have been unsuccessful so far.

The ruling is not a victory for the union as the number of union of officials is small and the contentious issues it identified are yet to be resolved.

On Tuesday, Mr Sossion termed the teachers’ employer “rogue” and one who acts “in bad faith” after its officials failed to show up for talks.

The commission later claimed they were not invited.

On Wednesday, the court ordered the two parties to appear before the Labour ministry or conciliator Charles Maranga, who was appointed by Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani, at 9am.

They were asked to negotiate in good faith.

REOPENING DATE

Knut representatives told Justice Ongaya that they want the schools reopening date pushed to Monday.

The TSC and the Labour ministry opposed the application, noting that an order against the strike had already been issued.

The two also noted that the school calendar is set by the Education ministry, which is not a party in the case, and that learners are eager to report to school on Thursday.

Earlier on Wednesday, Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed said schools will reopen on Thursday, despite the threat by Knut, through its Secretary-General Wilson Sossion.

Separately, the TSC asked teachers to report to their stations for the sake of quality learning and parents to take their children back, with the promise that there will be enough teachers.

It added in a statement, however, that, “The TSC has taken the decision to promptly assign teachers in its data base in case of non-attendance by those employed to attend to learners.”

By Daily Nation

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