The Employment and Labour Relations Court has suspended the teachers strike that almost clocked a month since it was called on Tuesday September 1.

The strike has been suspended for a period of 90 days during which an independent mediator is to be appointed to hear the dispute between the teachers and their employer.

The mediator is to be appointed within a period of thirty days from the day of the ruling by a committee to be formed by representatives of the government and the teachers unions.

Judge Nelson Abuodha had set today to make ruling after listening to submissions from lawyers representing the employer (Teachers Service Commission, TSC) and the teachers unions on September 15.

The TSC wanted the court to declare the strike illegal and compel teachers to go back to classrooms.

But the teachers had said that they will not go back to classrooms without the TSC honouring a court ruling to award them 50 – 60% salary increases.

Public schools have since been closed following the standoff.

The judge has also ordered TSC not to victimise the teachers.

TSC had already closed September 2015 payroll in a step that was seen as meant to deny the teachers the month’s pay.

Senior counsel Fred Ngatia and Stella Ruto had represented the TSC in the case while Kenya National Union of Teachers was represented by Paul Muite and Ahmednassir Abdullahi.

On its side, the government had said it was broke and that the monies the teachers had been awarded were not catered for in the 2015/16 budget.

To implement the directive, National Treasury had argued would lead to taking unprecedented measures as increasing taxes or cutting down on development budget to pay the teachers.

Some KSh 17 billion are required to effect the salary hike this financial year, but the Supreme Court ordered the government to backdate the salaries to 2013 when the pay talks went into a stalemate. Source: