KNUT threatens January strike over feud with TSC on new CBA
Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Secretary General Wilson Sossion now says the only option left for the union in an ongoing dispute with the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) is industrial action to make the teachers’ views heard.
Sossion on Sunday said KNUT will call a countrywide strike when schools reopen fully in January to get the TSC to listen.
“It seems the only language TSC understands is a strike…we have tried all our best but the pressure from our members is too much, mgomo wetu will be the mother of all,” he said.
The embattled Secretary General argued that the teachers’ employer has failed to engage the union in negotiations on the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) that is to take effect from 2021.
The commission has reportedly proposed a minimum 16% increment in basic salary for teachers in the proposed new CBA and has gone ahead to deposit at the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC).
KNUT wanted the basic pay to be raised by between 120 per cent and 200 per cent.
“We signed a CBA, we had a certificate but the employer decides unilaterally to suspend the CBA, blacklist the members of KNUT and deny them promotions,” added Sossion.
He further pointed at continuous frustration by TSC. citing a massive withdrawal of members from the union’s register and failure to submit KNUT dues as a well-calculated move to frustrate the union and push it down a cliff.
KNUT, a former giant teachers union, has in recent days lost its grip after close to 180,000 teachers apparently withdrew from the union to enjoy benefits provided under the Career Progression guidelines model of employment fronted by TSC and opposed by KNUT.
A statement by KUPPET indicates that the union has advanced its talks with TSC over the implementation of the new CBA.