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Economy

Knut rejects Sh13.5bn offer, says teachers' strike continues

Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) chairman Wilson Sossion (centre) with other officials during a news conference where the union rejected a Sh13.5 billion return to-work offer by the government  September 22, 2012.
Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) chairman Wilson Sossion (centre) with other officials during a news conference where the union rejected a Sh13.5 billion return to-work offer by the government September 22, 2012.  DANIEL IRUNGU/NATION MEDIA GROUP

The Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) has vowed that the teachers' strike will enter its fourth week on Monday after rejecting the Treasury's offer to meet their salary increment in three phases.

Treasury had offered to give teachers Sh13.5 billion salary increment payable in three phases in which Sh6 billion is to be paid end of next month backdated to July 2012, Sh5 billion in January 2013 and Sh2.5 billion in July 2013.

At a news conference held on Saturday, after a Knut officials meeting in Nairobi, the teachers insisted that they want a one-off payment.

Knut chairman Wilson Sossion said that the government's directive to sack striking teachers will not scare them back to the classroom.

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The government has said it will hire 100,000 teachers and recall those on retirement if the strike persists but Knut said they will not budge.

“Even if they were recruited, they will soon come to join us on strike,” said Mr Sossion adding that teachers will not resume duty even if their salaries are withheld for the next two months.

The teachers are demanding a 300 per cent salary increment, a 50 per cent increment on allowances for principles, 40 per cent for senior teachers and heads of department and 30 per cent for other teachers.

The lowest paid teacher is currently earning Sh13,750 while the highest paid teacher takes home Sh120,270.

The union said the plight of students who are about to sit for their exams will not be blamed on teachers.

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