COURT DECLINES TO SUSPEND CONSENT ORDERS THAT CALLED OFF TEACHERS STRIKE.

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Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) National Chairman Omboko Milemba, Secretary General Akello Misori (centre) and The Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) National Chairman Mudzo Nzili, at Milimani commercial court on January 28 Monday 1015 after industrial court declined to suspend consent orders that ended up the national strike.
BY SAM ALFAN

Industrial Court has declined to suspend consent orders that called of teachers’ strike.
Justice Nduma Nderi directed Teachers Service Commission to file its response by Wednesday.

The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) was expected to file its response to teachers’ demands by today.
However on Friday last week the commission moved to court claiming the Industrial Court lacked the requisite jurisdiction to exclusively hear a salary dispute involving public officers.

The commission filed an urgent application seeking to suspend the orders that called off the teachers’ the two-week strike.

“The court orders if implemented will further occasion a miscarriage of justice to non-parties to who are directly affected by the said orders including the Ministry of Education, Labour and National Treasury,” contends TSC.

TSC through its lawyer Allan Stima requested for more time saying the issues raised by Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) and Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) were weighty and

Justice Nderi ruled that all parties in the economic dispute fully comply with the consent orders entered on January 14 between the parties pending the hearing and determination of the matter.

“This matter is still in the hands of KUPPET, KNUT and TSC until the court writes its judgment but should the parties agree on the contentious issues raised nothing will stop the parties involved from entering an agreement before even the dispute is heard in court,” Justice Nderi ruled.

Justice Nderi said TSC, Salaries Remuneration Commission (SRC) and Central Planning and Monitoring Unit (CPMU) are at liberty to file their submissions after which the court will arbitrate the process.

“If all the parties agree to sit down and arbitrate over then matter will shall never be experiencing the endless strike this country has been subjected to in the past,” justice Nderi said.

He directed TSC to file its response by Wednesday while SRC expected to respond by February 9.

The Central Planning and Monitoring Unit (CPMU) was directed to analyze both the Union’s joint memorandum and the submissions by TSC and SRC and file its response on or before February 23 when the court will issue further directions.

He said it is after CPMU responds that the court will fix a hearing date of the economic dispute.

“It is the CPMU report that will provide a guideline that will enable the court to arrive at a just decision. So I urge all parties to comply and file their responses on time without failure,” Justice Nderi said.

Justice noted that the court was arbiter in the judicial process and had not assumed the role of the employer (TSC) nor that of the union’s demands.

“If the course of engagement with CPMU the parties arrive at a consensus then we do not need to go into full hearing since parties can go ahead and implement what has been agreed on,” the judge said.

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