Primary school head teachers have distanced themselves from the September 1 nationwide strike called by the Kenya National Union of Teachers.
Last Wednesday, secondary school principals rejected the call, saying it will hamper smooth learning and national examinations.
Knut secretary general Wilson Sossion has said the union will call a strike if the transfer of school heads, (delocalisation), performance appraisals and promotion of teachers are not addressed.
The Teachers Service Commission and the union are expected to meet on August 21 to discuss the issues. Should the talks fail, Sossion said the strike is inevitable.
“We have restrained ourselves for long, if they do not listen to our demands we will be left with choice but to ask members to boycott work,” Sossion said.
But teachers are unwilling to down their tools. They want dialogue between the TSC, Knut and the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet).
On Sunday, Kenya Primary School Headteachers Association (Kepsha) chairperson Shem Ndolo said they will not jump onto the bandwagon without a clear explanation.
“Delocalisation and appraisals have been in place for the past two years so if Knut is basing the strike on this, are these genuine reasons? These are things that can be discussed and resolved,” he said.
Related: Knut should drop strike threat on non–local heads
See: Principals differ with Sossion on strike plan, root for dialogue with TSC
Ndolo was addressing a press conference to announce the start of the 14th Kenya Primary School Heads Association Conference at Sheikh Zayed Centre in Nyali constituency.
He said striking is one way of fighting for teachers’ rights, but if the agenda is not set well Kepsha will oppose it.
“Let them dialogue first, if that fails we might rethink our position,” he said.
The Kenya Secondary School Headteachers Association chairman Indimuli Kahi last Wednesday called for dialogue between the TSC and the teachers’ unions.
“I do not wish to comment on this matter because it is being handled by the unions, but as teachers, we also do not wish to see studies being disrupted in third term. Therefore, I wish to ask Knut, Kuppet and TSC to resolve the matter amicably,” Kahi said.
He spoke to the press on the sidelines of the 10th African Confederation of Principals at Pride Inn Hotel Mombasa.
This year’s Kepsha conference has attracted more 10,000 school heads.
President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to officially open the forum on Tuesday.
Kisauni Deputy County Commissioner Kipchumba Rutto warned teachers not to fall prey to “slay queens” who may squander their hard earned cash.
“Teachers should move in groups for their safety. They must be wary of ‘slay queens’ who might drug them and rob their money,” he said.
Rutto said security will be beefed up at the conference venue.