EI has issued a letter of support for the Kenyan teachers and demanded that the Kenyan government implement a court decision in favour of the teachers.
In the letter EI defended the trade union rights of member organisations - the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT), the Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotels, Educational Institutions, Hospitals and Allied Workers (KUDHEIHA), the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET), and the Universities' Academic Staff Union (UASU) – to take industrial action in pursuit of their legitimate goals.
Employers have appealed the repeated court judgements that have consistently found in favour of the country’s teachers. Now, KNUT General Secretary, Wilson Sossion, said, the KNUT is consulting with lawyers and teachers will remain on strike until 1 October, when the case will be heard by the Court of Appeals. The absence of any positive move from the public authorities also prompted teachers to enter into an industrial dispute and engage in collective action.
EI strongly urged the Kenyan government to:
Implement the court decision confirming the teachers’ pay rise
Engage in meaningful dialogue with KNUT and KUPPET and meet the teachers’ legitimate demands for decent wages and better living conditions
Respect the fundamental rights and freedoms of teachers in accordance with international standards related to collective bargaining
Refrain from threatening teachers because of their appeal for a fair salary increase
EI: Teachers must not be victimised
In his letter, EI General Secretary, Fred van Leeuwen, said he trusts “that the Government will act swiftly to address the demands of teachers in Kenya, so that they can resume their duties without any victimisation. This will enable the pupils and students to continue with their education without further interruption.”
Latest update: Government to hire 70.000 teachers to replace those on strike
The Teachers Service Commission has advertised for 70,000 teaching jobs (20,000 for secondary and 50,000 for primary) for 3 months on contractual basis to ease the shortage caused by the ongoing strike. In the face of these events, Education International wants to re-state its steady support to its Kenyan affiliates.