KNUT Secretary General David Okuta admitted after collapsing

Written By Michael Maunda on Monday, September 3, 2012 | 10:03 AM

KNUT Secretary General David Okuta has been admitted to Aga Khan hospital in Kisumu after collapsing.  The Secretary General together with the Knut Chairman William Sossion  defied a court order and calls by the Minister of Education, Mutula Kilonzo to halt a nation wide teachers strike that begun today.

Students in several public schools were turned away following the declaration by the two Knut officials that the strike will go on as scheduled. Knut chairman Wilson Sossion yesterday declared that the teachers strike will go on as scheduled despite an issue ordered by Industrial Court Judge Byrum Ongaya last Friday, restraining teachers from taking part in the strike until a case filed by the Teacher Service Commission (TSC) which is scheduled for September 4 on their pay is resolved.

Minister for Education, Mutula Kilonzo called the strike an act on impunity that would not be allowed. He also called on the teachers' union to respect the court order. “A court order is a court order and must be respected. The teachers are professionals who should know better. The constitution provides them with the right to strike but it also protects children which the court has upheld by declaring the strike illegal. They should go to court and argue for alternative orders instead of defying the court order” he said.

Musau Ndunda, chairman of the Kenya National Association of Parents has also appealed to teachers not to go on strike stating that it would ruin the lives of students who are preparing to sit for their final examinations next month. The Knut chairman, however termed the court order “immaterial”. His deceleration has been bolstered by the fact that the countrywide strike is also being supported by rival union Kuppet-whose secretary general appealed to teachers to stay away from  class.

The teachers' union have resolved to continue with the strike until the government honours pledges made in a 1997 agreement.  According to the agreement gazetted as Legal Notice 534, teachers were set to receive housing allowance at 50 percent, 20 for medical and 10 for commuter

Teachers are also demanding a 300 percent increment on salaries and responsibility allowances to be paid to school heads, deputies and heads of departments. The union has also now added payment of sh 33 billion of accrued pension owed to more than 52,000 teachers to their demand

Source: The Star