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“We have nothing to do with planned strike”, says KUPPET official

A Kenya Union of Post -Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) official has distanced the union from the planned teachers’ strike Thursday.
Machakos Kuppet Executive Secretary Mr. Musembi Katuku has said as a union they have nothing to do with the planned strike by the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) and have advised their members to report to their work stations.
“We have not issued any strike notice to the government as a union and therefore our teachers will be on duty starting from tomorrow. What we are hearing is that our colleagues (Knut) have called for a teachers’ strike starting tomorrow but as far as we are concerned this is a matter which has nothing to do with us,” he said.
Katuku similarly said his union has no problem with the issue of delocalisation and transfer of teachers, a matter which is at the center of the current standoff between Knut and the Teachers Service Commission.
He said the issue was sorted between the unions and the government and should therefore not arise as a bone of contention.
The official has similarly lashed out at Knut Secretary General Mr. Wilson Sossion for his move in calling for a strike at the beginning of the year instead of sitting down with the government to sort out the contentious issues.
He claimed Sossion interest was not out to safeguard the welfare of teachers but was only interested in putting up a public stunt.
“Teachers are not interested in engaging in unnecessary disruptions of their work through unnecessary strikes. Mr Sossion should therefore climb down and talk to the government instead of calling for a strike that will eventually fizzle out,” he said.
Monday, Knut vowed to rally teachers for a nationwide strike beginning Thursday despite a ruling by the High Court that declared the planned industrial action illegal.
TSC had gone to court on Monday where they obtained an injunction barring Knut from going on with the strike until the matter is heard and determined.
In the meantime, TSC has maintained that the planned transfer of some 3,094 teachers has already been concluded and would not be revoked due to the proposed strike.
The affected teachers have already been ordered to be at their respective stations by January 2, 2019.
Knut and TSC have been at loggerheads since 2017 after the latter instituted the delocalisation programme which has seen hundreds of teachers moved from their home counties to work in other areas of the country.
By Samuel Maina

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