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Knut calls meeting to discuss strike

A teachers’ union has called a meeting on Monday to deliberate on the strike it wants to call.

The Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) Secretary General Wilson Sossion said the Executive Council will meet to discuss a recent move by the government withdraw promotion of more than 53,000 teachers.

Teachers who graduated with certificates, diplomas and degrees had expected to be elevated to the next pay grade.

The Education, Science and Technology Cabinet Secretary Prof Jacob Kaimenyi, however, said the ministry had no money to effect the promotions.

But Mr Sossion said the government had earlier set aside money for the exercise and challenged the minister to say where the cash went.

“We woke up one day and learnt that promotions had been secretly shelved. We want to know who authorised that and for what reasons,” he said.

Mr Sossion said if NEC approves the strike, a seven day notice will be issued before teachers down their tools.

He said Knut had already instructed its branches countrywide to organise its members for the industrial action. The giant union boasts of more than 240,000 members.

“The government had until December 31, 2013 to promote the teachers but did not do so,” said Mr Sossion.

The Secretary General said teachers had gone to lengths and taken huge loans to improve their education and skills, only to be frustrated.

He accused the government of being insensitive to the plight of its workers, especially teachers.

“The government has a responsibility to avert strikes,” Mr Sossion said.