By Calvin Osiemo
With the teachers strike in its third week, the teachers’ unions leading the strike has asked their members to refrain from staging protests following a directive from the Employment and Labour Relations Court. Justice Nelson Abuotha directed the teachers not to engage in any kind of protests awaiting a ruling in a petition that had been filed by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) that is scheduled to be delivered on 25th September this year.
The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) and the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) jointly asked their members to comply with the directive as they are law abiding citizens.
“We take this earliest opportunity to confirm that we will abide with the ruling made by Justice Nelson Abuotha asking us to refrain from street protests as we wait the main ruling of the petition by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) that will be issued on September 25, 2015,” said KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion.
The sentiments were echoed by KUPPET Secretary General Akelo Misori
“We are serious citizens who believe in rule of law and also respect institutions. We do not have time for sideshows. Our members must be advised that the court has spoken and we have obliged,” said the Kuppet Secretary General.
Judge Abuotha urged the both parties in the case to refrain from attacking each other as it is complicating the issue further.
“I have noted from the media that both parties have been commenting on this matter. You should maintain calm and stop firing it more in the media. You should also stop issuing threats as you await the final decision of this court,” judge Abuotha cautioned.
The teachers’ employer TSC had issued an ultimatum to the teachers to return to work by Friday this week or risk being fired a statement that did not go down well with union leaders who asked the Commission to refrain from issuing threats to the teachers.
“We take judicial notice that Justice Abuotha in his wisdom cautioned the TSC chairperson Lydia Nzomo and the secretary, Nancy Macharia against issuing threats to our members. We are law-abiding citizens and cannot be threatened as if we are lesser mortals or anyone’s slaves,” reads the statement from Sossion.