Solidarity with Kenyan Teachers on Strike

Published on 20th January 2009

 

We as a movement that creates platforms for Kenyans to dialogue around their pertinent issues and as people’s institution that believes that humane society will only be born from civic vigilance and further, as the voice of the 40 million Kenyans who continue to resist oppression, fight social injustices and demand people-sensitive and accountable leadership at all levels, Bunge la Mwananchi:

 

Takes cognisance that engaging in gainful labour forms part of the overall context within which basic human rights may be enjoyed by individuals and community;

 

Is aware that the role of labour in facilitating national development has, in practice, been grossly understated within the Kenyan polity;

 

Recognises the central, influential and transformational role that a teacher plays in every person’s life that passes through their important charge;

 

Is convinced that all labour effort must be commensurately rewarded;

 

Wishes to show solidarity with Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) striking teachers in their continued struggle to make sure that the teaching profession is accorded its due respect and its rightful position in the society by the realization of a better remuneration and better terms and conditions of service for teachers;

 

We hereby state as follows:

A policeman disperses Protesting Teachers

1.That we strongly condemn the Government’s act in unleashing anti-riot police to harass and intimidate the teachers who are excising their legitimate labour right to organize and bargain collectively.

 

2. That we dismiss with the contempt it deserves and protest against the Teachers Service Commission’s (TSC) threat to sack teachers who participate in the strike and demand that the TSC respect teachers’ exercise of their right to strike as protected under the law.

 

3. That for a Government that pays Members of Parliament a tax free salary of KES 1.1 million for working 12 days a month plus lots of allowances, it is inexcusable and a sign of gross impunity to claim an inability to afford to commensurately reward teachers for their 30 days a month national building activities.

 

4. That every year, there is a misprioritisation of funds allocation in the National Budget and if the budget was properly reviewed to do away with unnecessary spendthrift practices as well as to revise percentage fund allocation towards budget items, the Government is well able to immediately meet their end of the teachers’ salary negotiations. 

 

5. That we the parents in Kenya are hesitant and reluctant to have our children handled by teachers who are “hungry and angry” and without morale to impart life skills to our children in their formative stage because of poor pay while Ministers and other State Mercenaries continue to fleece our public coffers to finance their globetrotting adventures.

 

6. That it is the responsibility of this Government to coordinate our society in a bid to hand over a better society to future generations and since a large part of the future of this country is in the hands of close to 300,000 teachers, we cannot allow the carelessness of the Government to jeopardise and distort the whole nation’s future.

 

7. That it is the Government’s mandate to pursue economic growth that ensures that the social and political welfare of its people guaranteed and in this regard, we demand that the Government of Kenya must require each employer to adopt, as a minimum, internationally acceptable standards of welfare for its employees.

 

8.We demand that the Government immediately honours their promise to teachers on salaries; and while we are not happy with the disruption of our children’s learning, we know that no teacher will perform optimally if they cannot afford food for their own children, better shelter for their family and even decent clothing for themselves.

 

9. Lastly, we unequivocally demand that the Government of Kenya must stop taking for granted the army of workers of this country without whom the wheel of state will surely stop turning sooner rather than later.

 

This statement is in solidarity with the striking teachers and all working Kenyans,

 

For and on behalf of Bunge la Mwananchi,

 

George Nyongesa

 

P.O Box 483-00517, Uhuru Gardens, Nairobi

 

TEL: +254 720 451 235

 

WEBSITE: www.bulamwa.co.ke

 

EMAIL: mwanananchibunge@gmail.com 

 

 


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