Kenyan Teachers to Sue TSC Over Failure to Pay Wages
Teachers in Kenya have threatened to sue the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) after it failed to pay them their September wages.
Rumours surfaced last month that the TSC would refuse to pay striking teachers for September, however the body was ordered to comply with regular payment in a court ruling that suspended the teacher strike for 90 days.
The TSC breaks another court order
In August the TSC was ordered to increase teacher wages by 50-60 percent – a ruling the commission chose to ignore, sparking five weeks of teacher strikes that have only recently been suspended.
Courts suspended the strikes for a 90-day period earlier this month, ordering both parties to enter negotiations and resolve the pay dispute. In the same court session, the TSC was warned against discriminating against teachers who had been on strike – including the avoidance of pay for September.
The TSC has now ignored two court rulings on teacher pay, in little over two consecutive months.
The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) has said it is considering numerous options, following the TSC’s actions, with a lawsuit being one of them. KNUT Secretary General, Wilson Sossion, told Kenyan newspaper Daily Nation the TSC’s decision was “baffling”.
“We wrote to the TSC last week to pay teachers by Friday midnight so as to comply with a court order. It is baffling to see that the TSC and the government have chosen to disobey the court order,” he said. “It is unfair for the government to let education die by refusing to pay the teachers.”
The TSC is reportedly considering an appeal against some of the court rulings, claiming they were issued while an appeal case was already ongoing. The commission also claims some teachers haven’t returned to work yet, as ordered by the courts.