By: JAMES NGUNJIRI
Teachers will go on a nationwide strike in September if the government moves to Supreme Court to appeal against a salary increase awarded to them by the courts.
Kenya National Union Teachers (Knut) Secretary-General Wilson Sossion on Friday said the government had already served their lawyers with a notice of appeal at the highest court in the land.
“For how long will this government be in court over our pay? Our teachers cannot live in poverty for ever, we won’t allow this. Somebody should tell the government they are making a mistake and they are playing with fire. They should not try to go to court. Justice delayed is justice denied,” Mr Sossion said.
Speaking at St Monica Munyaka Girls Secondary School in Kieni East Sub-County, Nyeri, during the school’s prize giving day, Mr Sossion said the government is fighting teachers, instead of supporting them.
The Court of Appeal ordered the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to pay teachers the salary increase awarded to them last month by the Employment and Labour Relations Court.
“The only way the government can support teachers is to ensure that the rule given by the court is respected and government pays teachers in the month of August without delay,” he said.
The Knut secretary-general said come September, teachers would combine forces with retired teachers and fight the government together for their rights.
On Thursday, the High Court directed the TSC to liaise with the National Treasury, the Controller of Budget, the Auditor-General, the pensions and other offices to settle the Sh42.3 billion pension arrears owed to ex-teachers.
Mr Sossion, at the same time, said they are impressed with their new medical scheme after five teachers and their children were taken to India for treatment.
He said the insurer had paid Sh21 million for 200 in-patient cases in a month.
“We are only insisting that the TSC and the service provider must provide the necessary services to the teachers,” he said.