Friday, May 27, 2022
HomeNewsBlow To Teachers As Registrar Blocks New Union Formations

Blow To Teachers As Registrar Blocks New Union Formations

Blow To Teachers As Registrar Blocks New Union Formations.

Hundreds of thousands of teachers who do not belong to a union may be forced to continue paying agency fees after the registrar refused to approve two new ones.

The decision of Registrar of Trade Unions Elizabeth Gicheha has dealt a setback to two new teachers’ groups that were attempting to negotiate in the field of teacher welfare.

The National Education Union (NEU) and the Kenya National Union of Classroom Teachers (KNUCT) had written to Ms Gicheha, requesting permission to advocate for salary increases, allowances, and promotions, among other things.

Teachers pushed for NEU through Salim Omar and Co Advocates, and KNUCT through Ondieki and Ondieki Advocates.

NEU, whose rallying cry is “Service, Justice, and Unity,” planned to hire teachers at all levels of the profession, including pre-primary, primary, and secondary schools, as well as tertiary and private institutions, whereas KNUCT planned to hire all classroom teachers, with the exception of those in managerial positions.

There are already registered trade unions representing the rights and interests of the envisioned scope of representations, according to Ms Gicheha.

According to her, the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) represents registered, certified, licensed, and authorized teachers of all grades and qualifications.

The Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) represents those in secondary and tertiary institutions, and the Kenya Union of Pre-Primary Education Teachers (Kunoppet) represents all teachers in early childhood education.

The Kenya Union of Special Needs Education Teachers (Kusnet) represents all trained teachers and those in training who are registered with the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and other ministries and work in special needs and early childhood education.

The Kenya Union of Private School Teachers (KNUPST) is another union that represents every trained teacher in private schools.

“Section 14(1)d of the Labour Relations Act (2007) states that a trade union may apply for registration if –(d) no other trade union already registered is sufficiently representative of the whole or a substantial proportion of the interests in respect of which the applicants seek registration,” the registrar explained.

Ms Gicheha stated that a proposed trade union would then engage in recruitment for the section where there is no other trade union.

She stated that she was unable to register any other teachers union as a result of this.

The formation of the groups is the result of teacher dissatisfaction, with some accusing the current trade unions of failing to meet the needs of teachers.

Another attempt to form a splinter group, the Kenya National Teachers Pressure Group (KNTPG), has also been fought, with the teachers involved reportedly punished by being transferred to counties far from their previous stations a month ago.

TSC CEO Nancy Macharia has denied that the transfers were malicious or punitive and that 1,120 teachers from both primary and secondary schools have been transferred to new stations since July 1.

According to Knut Secretary-General Collins Oyuu, all teachers are represented by the current unions, and the groups claiming to speak for teachers are unregistered.

He also implied that the people behind the new groups were candidates who had lost union elections in the past.

“How can a group claim they represent teachers yet they are unregistered? Those people lost in the last union elections and they have no authority to represent or speak for teachers,” said Mr Oyuu.

According to available data, Knut’s membership dropped from 187,000 to 15,000 people. The union has not provided any recent data to show whether or not the number has increased since new officials were elected in June.

Kuppet represents approximately 109,000 teachers, while Kusnet represents approximately 8,000.

According to the Labour Relations Act of 2007, more than 190,000 teachers in primary, secondary, and teacher training colleges are not union members and are required to pay monthly agency fees to the three unions.

Employees who are not members of a trade union but benefit from terms of employment negotiated by a union in a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) are subject to an agency fee, according to the act.

The new groups, on the other hand, claim that the unions negotiated a non-monetary CBA and are no longer fighting for the welfare of teachers.

Knut is in the process of amending its constitution to raise the retirement age for officials from 60 to 65.

In addition, the union agreed with the TSC to only represent primary school teachers.


Also Read:


In 2019, KNUPST attempted to change its name to Kenya National Union of Private and Basic Education School Teachers (Kupbest) and open its doors to all teachers, but both Knut and Kuppet objected.

Another group, the Kenya National Union of School Administrators (KNUSA), planned to write to the registrar in August, requesting to be registered as a union.

Blow To Teachers As Registrar Blocks New Union Formations

RELATED ARTICLES

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

WE'RE SOCIAL

16,985FansLike
1,786FollowersFollow
13,681FollowersFollow
1,255FollowersFollow
3,151FollowersFollow
61,453SubscribersSubscribe
error: Content is protected !!