See also:
» 19.04.2010 - Kenyan leader speaks out on constitution affair
» 18.12.2009 - Union calls for resignation of education minister
» 13.02.2009 - Teachers outraged by caning of colleagues
» 19.01.2009 - Teachers embark on an indefinite strike
» 17.12.2007 - Slapped Kenya MC sacked
» 01.08.2007 - Kenya Minister clashes with police
» 26.01.2007 - Kenya journalists in labour conflict
» 17.12.2003 - "Aid" leads to bankruptcy in Malawi, Mozambique, Kenya

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Labour | Society

Teachers strike to continue over low salaries

afrol News, 9 January - Kenyan teachers have declared to resume a general strike on 19 January over salary dispute after the teachers negotiating team talks with the Minister of Education Sam Ongeri ended without a breakthrough.

Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) on Tuesday rejected a government plan that would have seen the salary bill increased by US$225 million over three years. This would have seen the lowest paid teacher earn $180 per month and the highest paid $1,550. But teachers said an increment was not enough to keep them at work.

The Union's secretary-general Lawrence Majali accused the minister of sending mixed signals to the union, and being not sure whether salary disputes will be settled. But Minister Ongeri is reported to have sought an arbiter in the salary dispute.

"We have not received any documents to show us where the dispute is headed. The minister is leaving it open to the union to make another decision and we are sticking to strike action," Mr Majali told the Daily Nation.

Mr Majali has insisted that teachers want a 35 percent increase to be paid at once from this month, saying the government has shown little commitment in improving the welfare of teachers in the country.

According to a press statement sent to newsrooms by the KNUT Mombasa branch executive secretary, Mr Ahaya Juma Ahaya said teachers have expressed disappointment over the government's failure to address the salary dispute, saying they are going ahead with the strike as planned.

Education minister had called the meeting to try and forestall the strike, which threatens to paralyse learning in public schools countrywide. Teachers went on a one-month strike in October 1998 after the government refused to honour its part of the bargain in the 1997 salary awards, saying there was no money.

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