CRIPPLING OF OPERATIONS AT KENYA NATIONAL UNION OF TEACHERS (KNUT) BY TEACHERS SERICE COMMISSION (TSC)

The TSC is attempting to put KNUT and its membership in a collision course with the  government which we shall never  allow.

We are aware of attempts to convince the government that a strong Knut  is not good for government  and that is why Knut is currently locked  out  of enjoying  agency fee  from  the  2017 – 2021  CBA  while  Kuppet as  assisted  by TSC to access  agency fee since2018.

ls this not Labour Discrimination?

We  hasten  to  state  that strong  education  systems  mirror   presence  of  strong, ibrant and  independent  Unions  like  KNUT.

Strong Unions can partner with governments like we are doing currently  on the BBl  process which we have declared our irreversible support for the good of the country.

The government should never buy these baseless narratives from  TSC.

Teachers Service Commission (TSC)  has  systematically  continued  to  mutilate Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Membership Register with the sole aim of crippling the operations of the Union.

The Commission purports that members are quitting the Union out of their own volition  without  being  enticed or coerced.

This is not true, TSC has stage managed the scene to appear that teachers  are abandoning the Union.

TSC is forcefully removing KNUT members from the register with a long-term aim of making the Union not to meet the required threshold  to be recognized as a union to represent teachers.

We maintain that our membership stands at over 200,000 as per our records and in accordance with Section 48 of the Labour Relations Act.

The issue of restoration of KNUT membership register as per June 2019,  and recovery of un-deducted union dues for all the months was brought  to  the attention  of the  Cabinet Secretary for Labour and  Social  Protection, Hon. Simon Chelugui through a letter dated August 11th, 2020.

The Ministry of Labour has since gone quiet over the matter whereas TSC continues to cripple the operations of the Union by attacking the check-off  system, hence systematically diminishing the resources of KNUT.

We have dispatched a final reminder  letter  to  the  Cabinet  Secretary  Labour vide Ref. No. KNUT/LAB/32/14/2020  dated  November  9, 2020 to act on the  matter or e take severe action.

For unexplained  reason(s), the check-off system as suspended by TSC during the months of July, August and  December 2019. This was closely followed  by  illegal massive offloading of members from the Union register contrary to the provision of Section 48 of the Labour Relations Act.

The mischief of TSC is aimed at creating wrangles  in the Union, to weal the bargaining  platform of  teachers and cause change in the  KNUT leadership. The Commission has now embarked  on clandestine messaging urging  KNUT leaders to hick out the Secretary-General for the check-off to be restored.

The effects of the unconstitutional and illegal actions by the TSC have had adverse effects on the union:

•     Meddling in the internal  affairs  of  the union and clandestinely  promising reinstatement of the Register once leadership change is caused  in the office of the Secretary General is a violation of Article 41 of our constitution.

•     KNUT runs  a payroll  of KSh80  million monthly which can no longer  be sustained by the declining income that is currently standing at KShs25 million as at the month of October 2020.

•      KNUT officials and employees, including  retired officers have lost  their medical  covers and their lives are at risk because they cannot  access quality health  services. We have already  lost  two branch staff  – the  late Paul Lepore who  until  his death was the Executive  Secretary  of KNUT Narok branch  who died at  home, and the late Xavier Miheso of Kakamega Central branch.  Both died because of inability to access quality healthcare.

•     Our  staff  and  elected  officials  with  loans  have  been placed  under  CRB because  of their  inability to service  loans.  This  has  greatly  affected  the social status of our staff and elected officials including the image of KNUT.

•     The National  Executive  Council cannot  organise  the  Annual  Delegates Conference for the  second  year running  because  of lack  of funds to stage the  same. The ADC is due in the month of December as per  KNUT constitution.

•   The trade  union elections have  been  called by the Registrar of Trade Unions  vide  letter  Ref. No.ML&SP/TU/ELECTION/2021 dated September 25th,  2020.  It is difficult for KNUT to organize for the polls as we have always  done in the past. This  means that over 160,000 members will be denied  the  right to participate  in  elections because of a messed up membership register.

It has reached a point where we now call on the Cabinet Secretary for Labour to act within his constitutional powers and ensure that:

•    TSC is stopped from meddling with the internal affairs of KNUT, and attempting to determine the Secretary-General of the Union.

•    TSC to restores  KNUT Membership  Register  as  per June  2019  and remit union dues of all members for all the months.

•    TSC restores the KNUT Check off system in full as it was in June 2019.

Already, 110  branch offices have been shut down and property auctioned because of diminished resources, hence services to members stopped.

KNUT therefore calls on the Cabinet  Secretary to ensure the reinstatement  of KNUT Membership Register as it were in the month of JUNE 2019  for the Union to be able to run its branches, pay salaries and conduct its programmes.

We further call on the Cabinet Secretary to exercise his mandate and stop TSC from meddling  with the affairs of  KNUT and stop its continued attempt to change  the  leadership of the office of the Secretary-General  as  this is a democratic decision of the members of the Union.

HON. WILSON SOSSION
SECRETARY GENERAL K.N.U.T.

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