Trouble is brewing at the former giant teachers union Knut. This is after Knut Secretary General blocked National Executive Council (NEC) meeting which is to happen tomorrow.
NEC is the organ charged with the mandate to make key decision of the union. Its NEC that can authorize a teachers strike or a top union official to be removed from office.
Already there are rumours of a possible coup before the Knut national elections next year.
Sossion in a circular to union officials said branch elections shall be held from 4th January, 2021 to 31st March, 2021
National elections shall be held from 1st April, 2021 to 31st June, 2021.
However there is disquiet among the NEC members who want a meeting with Wilson Sossion to iron out key issues affecting the union.
Last year some members of NEC staged a coup to oust Sossion but backtracked after a casual agreement.
However some officials have remained rebellious and are constantly canvassing and planning to remove Sossion from power.
They claim Sossion has failed to unite teachers by unilaterally carrying out decisions of the union as well as going against union tradition in awarding top union positions.
They say he has sidelined some regions when it comes to union regional balancing.
Sossion is also being faulted for taking active role in politics which is against the spirit of unionism.
Others claim Sossion abrasiveness in dealing with union matters has led to the death of the union especially where he engages with government officials.
Knut has lost immensely following internal and external wrangles that is threatening closure of its 110 branches after thousands of teachers left the union.
TSC AND KNUT STAND OVER TEACHERS LEAVING THE UNION
Knut through its Secretary General Wilson Sossion had complained that TSC is in a mission to cripple the union by unfairly denying it funds to run its operations hence crippling services in its 110 branches.
“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,” Sossion had said through a statement.
Sossion said TSC is mutilating the register of teachers so it can appear teachers are running away from 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,” he said.
He said 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
However TSC came out to respond to the claims of killing the union by starving it with funds through downsizing its membership.
TSC through its head of corporate affairs Beatrice Wababu said the commission has no role in teachers who are leaving the union.
She said teachers leaving Knut are doing it willingly and TSC does not coerce teachers to leave or join any union.
She said teachers are leaving Knut so that they can enjoy the benefits offered by the Career Progression Guidelines (CPG)
“All the teachers exiting KNUT to other unions are voluntarily moving away to enjoy the benefits offered to them through the Career Progression Guidelines that Knut opposes in Court,” read a statement by TSC head of communications Beatrice Wababu.
KNUT ELECTIONS 2021
Sossion in a circular said in order for teachers to contest in the upcoming KNUT General Elections one MUST be a paid up member of the Union for a continuous period of 5 years without arrears.
And in order to vote, one must produce evidence of membership with a payslip of not more than the previous 13 weeks and his/her name must be in the membership register.
The BECs were also directed to ensure regularization of members’ register and submitted to him for onward transmission to the Commissioner for Labour/the Registrar of Trade Union.
All the KNUT members were instructed to update their membership records as either through cash deposit or by issuing Standing Orders with their respective banks to be sending money to the gazetted KNUT Union Account at Moi Avenue Branch.
The payments are to made through KCB Account Details as follows:-
Account Name Kenya National Union of Teachers
Account No 1107218993
Bank/Branch KCB/Moi Avenue
He said depositing payments to any account other than the above DO NOT QUALIFY YOU as a member.
The Union dues expected to be paid by members is 2% of their basic salary.