The aftermath of the recent failed teachers’ strike is now being felt by teachers who are finding it hard to make ends meet after the Teachers Service Commission withheld their September salaries.
The one million dollar question teachers are asking is whether their top union officials have deserted them in the hour of great need after the failed strike after they were ordered by the court to resume classes.
It is imperative to note that the last time Knut officials communicated to teachers is when they called off the strike and have since gone underground and have failed to put pressure on TSC to obey court orders and release the September salaries.
It had been anticipated that Knut would go to court to sue TSC for disobeying court orders and to even push TSC to release September salaries. Teachers have literally become beggars as they borrow money from shopkeepers, mama mbogas, butchermen, dairywomen and some even to the extent of drinking beer and chang’aa on bills to be paid once TSC releases their September pay.
It is against such suffering that teachers are now piling pressure on their Knut officials to bail them out from the Reserve Fund also known as Strike Kitty.
Teachers across the country have now reacted angrily to an earlier announcement by Knut secretary-general Wilson Sossion’s claims that the reserve fund established last year does not have enough money to pay striking members.
Sossion had been quoted saying “It will take six to seven years for the fund to mature. It is like a sacco. You do not start one today and give out loans tomorrow”.
But teachers are opposing this statement saying the fund has enough money to bail out teachers. According to reports from the accounts department, the union has 206,000 members and since February 2014, it has been deducting Sh100 from every member, translating to Sh20.6 million a month. It means the fund has about Sh370 million to date.
Teachers are now demanding that signatories to the Strike Account be changed and an independent fund managers appointed to run the fund.
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