School re-open after weeks of uncertainty caused by strike notice

Schools re-opened today, Thursday, across the country after weeks of uncertainty caused by a strike notice issued by the teacher’s union KNUT.

Parents and learners across the country got a reprieve on Wednesday after the Employment and Labour Relations Court suspended the strike and directed both Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) and TSC to go back to the negotiating table.

It would, however, seem that the government is now speaking with one voice on this assuring the nation that it’s not going back on its word on a 2019 new curriculum rollout.

Until Wednesday, parents were unsure whether schools would open after a back and forth between teachers and their employer TSC with the union boss insisting that the strike would go on.

A court order obtained by TSC and a subsequent date with Justice Byron Anganyo, however, saw the strike stopped with the two then ordered to resume conciliatory talks.

The two parties had earlier on Thursday attended a closed-door meeting with the Ministry of Labour or conciliator Charles Maranga, who was appointed by Labour Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani to mediate in the impasse.

The judge also gave orders barring the transfer of teachers by TSC pending hearing and determination of the petition.

“Pending the hearing and the determination of the petition or further orders from the court, the applicants and the respondents shall attend conciliation proceeding before the Conciliation Committee at the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection Offices, Nairobi,” Justice Ongaya directed in his ruling.

Ongaya instructed both parties to report progress of the talk on February 19.

While addressing the media on the strike threat by KNUT, Nzomo said TSC will participate in efforts to resolve the dispute and appealed to all teachers to report to work on Thursday.

“The Commission is fully committed to conciliation. At this point, I wish to clarify that TSC has not failed to attend any conciliation meeting to which we had been invited,” she said.

The teachers’ union wants the transfers of 3,094 head teachers of primary and secondary schools by the TSC to be recalled, terming them irregular.

The case will be heard on 17th January 2019.


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