The following is a statement received by this website from Wilson Sossion, Secretary General of the Kenyan National Union of Teachers, following yesterday's executive committee meeting:

On Thursday 19th November Kenya National Union of Teachers invited its top decision making organ (National Executive Council) to seek common ground after a fall-out following a government invitation to a section of KNUT leadership, led by the chairman, to meet the president. This meeting sealed a deal in the absence of the Secretary General.

Kenya’s Labour court ordered government to effect a 50 - 60 per cent pay rise following a Collective Bargaining Agreement signed in 2014. We called for a five week strike. But in utter defiance the government failed to honour the order, suspended paying teachers' salaries and refused to remit union dues, thus crippling union activities and its ability to follow up on court cases. Government also appealed the 50-60% pay order and placed “gatekeeper judges” to rule against the teachers' pay rise and order them back to class empty handed.

The judges in their ruling also gave an order that undermines the bargaining activity that, unless challenged in a constitutional court, will lead to the death of trade unions in Kenya as they will not be able to demand the right to fair remuneration through collective bargaining.

Thursday’s meeting was in the wake of an apparent fall-out between the Chairman and myself. Last week the Chair led a section of KNUT officials to meet the president to seek a political solution to the impasse. Yesterday's meeting felt that this was improper as the Secretary General is the Union’s spokesman in all stakeholder negotiations and affairs and that the Secretary General remains the holder of the union's seal, a mandate which is given by the teachers of Kenya. In addition the delegates mandated the Secretary General to go ahead and pursue both political and legal solutions at the Supreme Court and government in order to unblock the stalemate.

The meeting also resolved that KNUT enter fresh talks with the teachers' employer next week, Wednesday, in a show of appreciation for the President's effort . It urged members to support all it's decisions, some of which could not be released to the media because of legal implications.

The Meeting dispelled reports of division in the union saying the difference between the chairman Mudzo Nzili and Secretary Wilson Sossion was "fundamentally ideological and strong for the union". KNUT will strive to uphold unity, remain committed to the interests of teachers and steer their welfare and rights to the next level.

Wilson Sossion.

Secretary General, KNUT

Teachersolidarity will carry on reporting the long struggle of Kenyan teachers for justice.

To read more background to the dispute go here