KENYA: Bishops offer to Mediate to end Recurrent Teachers’ Strikes

NAIROBI SEPTEMBER 25, 2015 (CISA) –Catholic Bishops in Kenya have offered to mediate towards ending the recurrent teacher’s strike.

“We religious leaders are ready to mediate in this process to find an amicable lasting solution to the current impasse to enable normal learning to resume. Both sides must step back from the brink of an all out industrial confrontation for the sake of our country,” said Bishop Phillip Anyolo, Chairman Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishop (KCCB).

Bishop Anyolo was speaking during a press conference in Nairobi where he observed that the challenges currently facing the education sector the country are adversely affecting all Kenyans.

The prelate called for key stakeholders to be involved in creating a calm atmosphere for solving the existing education challenges.

In the statement, KCCB expressed concern in the manner in which industrial disputes are handled in Kenya.

“On the ongoing teachers strike, the hard line positions taken by both Teachers Service Commission and the Teachers Unions are regrettable and set a bad example,” said Bishop Anyolo.

KCCB appealed to all Kenyans to avoid using threats, intimidation, blackmail, and chest thumping in dealing with disputes.

“The strike, which has paralysed learning in our schools, is a wakeup call for all Kenyans to think how to address industrial disputes before they spiral out of control,” observed Bishop Anyolo.

“We recommend the teachers Service Commission and the Teachers’ Unions accept the involvement of an independent mediator to facilitate discussions leading to a lasting solution to the strike,” added Bishop Anyolo.

Meanwhile the courts have ordered teachers to suspend the month-long strike over pay and return to work immediately. The industrial court ordered the government and unions to work together to settle the dispute within 30 days.

Previously the courts had ordered a pay rise of at least 50%, but the government is challenging this, saying it is unaffordable.

Despite these claims Kenya National Teachers Union vowed that the teachers will continue with the strike and further threatened that teachers would further boycott supervision and marking of National exams expected to start next month.

There has been no teaching in public schools since the beginning of the month, as the teachers say the government should abide by the court’s decision.

Leave a Reply