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Reopening plans in limbo as KNUT threatens to call for teachers strike when learning resumes

Plans to reopen schools in January may take a hit as giant teachers union KNUT threatens a strike to protest the discrimination of its members by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC).

The Kenya National Union of Teachers says its members were sidelined in Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) and were left out of promotions and salary increment.

KNUT Secretary General Honorable Wilson Sossion is escalating the battle with the teachers’ employer, TSC accusing it of starving the union with the cash to run its operation.

The Giant union recently shut down 110 offices across the country owing to the cash crisis. Members have fallen behind paying out their dues as TSC also failed to remit contributions for the month of July, August and December 2019.

“We have isolated the employer as the father of impunity in this country.” Said Sossion. The battle between TSC and KNUT has seen KNUT members excluded from promotions and salary increase provided in the 2016 CBA.

“We signed a CBA, we have a certificate but the employer decides unilaterally to blacklist and suspend the CBA and deny our members promotion. That is not anything that will create peace. And the narrative TSC is selling to the government is wrong.” Said bitter Sossion.

The stalemate has seen other KNUT members defect to other unions in order to benefit from the CBA. The aggressive and long-serving Secretary-General has himself come up against ruthless tactics through elections set for the 4th of January.

“We don’t even have a single letter of any teacher withdrawing from the union. What is evident is corruption at TSC. We must get our register back if there has to be peace…and our members must participate in elections.” Said Sossion

The dispute now threatens to dent January plans to fully reopen schools. “The only medicine which TSC understands is a strike, maybe that’s what they are asking for. And then if that is what they want we shall have no other option but to prepare for it.” Sossion affirmed.

Some 100,000 teachers have been sidelined from a pay rise and promotion of 2017-2021 CBA for being affiliated with KNUT. KNUT moved to court for orders to set aside Career Progression Guidelines (CPG) that TSC was already implementing.

TSC then ran a separate payroll for Knut members effectively blocking them from the contested pay deal saying it was in compliance with the court orders.


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