Teachers’ strike illegal, action against individuals to be taken – TSC
The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has termed the teachers’ strike that officially commenced Wednesday as illegal saying no notice was served to the commission per the law.
In a statement signed by TSC’s head of communications Kihumba Kamotho on behalf of the Chief Executive Officer, the commission said: “Whatever reason given for the strike is still subject to an appeal in the Court of Appeal.”
The teachers’ employer said that any strike action is unprotected and will be treated as absconding duty.
“Any strike action emanating from the current circumstances is illegal and unprotected,” read the statement that warned teachers participating in the strike that they will face unspecified action.
“Individual teachers who boycott work or engage in unprofessional conduct will certainly suffer consequences in accordance to the Teachers Service Commission Act and the Code of Regulations for Teachers.”
TSC directed all county education officials “to closely monitor the situation and take appropriate measures to address any contravention of the law and Service Regulations.”
The education directors, according to TSC, “should not hesitate to commence disciplinary action including interdiction. In particular teachers who attempt to disrupt learning should be dealt with firmly and conclusively.”
TSC affirmed an earlier announcement by Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich that the government is not in a position to raise the amount needed to pay teachers the 50-60% salary increment as per an industrial Court ruling.
“Finally, the Government has repeatedly explained that the Ksh 20.1 billion needed to fund the salary demand was not budgeted for in the 2015/2016 financial year and cannot be raised in any other viable and sustainable method. We appeal for patience as the Government strives to address the matter.”
The statement by TSC comes hours after the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) announced that the National Executive Council had voted to officially commence the strike on Wednesday despite there being no learning activities in any public school in most parts of the country.