Fresh Talks Between Teachers and TSC Stumble at the First Hurdle

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Fresh negotiations ordered by President Kenyatta, between Kenyan teachers and their employers, have stumbled at the first hurdle.

Talks were scheduled to begin on Wednesday, following the president’s directive, but a leading union claims the TSC is unwilling to restart negotiations. The false start means teachers will have to wait even longer for their September salaries and the withholding of union dues carries on.

 

The TSC defies presidential orders

After a three-hour meeting at the TSC headquarters on Wednesday, Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) was only able to express its disappointment that the TSC was unwilling to follow the president’s directive.

“The TSC is not willing to jumpstart the talks as ordered by the President. The meeting could not proceed and we’ve adjourned indefinitely,” Kuppet Secretary-General Akello Misori told journalists after the meeting.

“They want to flex their muscle to show their capacity to stifle the operations of the unions, we are not happy,” he said.

 

Payments further delayed

The failure to initiate talks between Kuppet and the TSC means teachers who participated in a five-week strike are still waiting for their September salaries. The president ordered these salaries to be paid as part of his directive on fresh negotiations between the parties.

Union fees are also being withheld by the TSC as the battle over teacher wages drags on. The lack of funds has put unions under extreme pressure, taking away one of their few major sources of income. Aside from Kuppet, Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) is also waiting for the release of union dues owed to it.

However, the wait continues as talks failed to even begin on Wednesday, with the TSC insisting it won’t pay teachers for the 33 days they were on strike.

 

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