The Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) has defied the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) orders directing its chairman and two other official to leave office.
On Sunday, the union gave the officials the go-ahead to continue serving on a part-time basis and ruled out any elections to replace them, saying the polls would be held in 2021.
During a press conference on Sunday, Kuppet said although National Chairman Omboko Milemba was elected as the Emuhuya MP last year, he would continue to discharge his union duties part time.
During a National Executive Board meeting, the union resolved that the functions of the national chairperson as the Leader of Union Delegation shall be performed by National Vice Chairman Julius Korir.
“In tandem with this constitutional provision, the National Executive Board, in a meeting held on Friday, January 26, resolved that Omboko Milemba, the national chairman, Ronald Tonui, the national assistant treasurer and Catherine Wambilyanga, the national secretary (for) gender, will serve the union on a part-time basis with immediate effect,” said a resolution read by Secretary General Akello Misori.
Kuppet argued that the union’s constitution had since been amended to allow those serving the public in other capacities to serve the union part time.
Mr Misori said the functions of the three requiring full-time engagement would be performed by union officials already delegated according to the Constitution.
This means they will not be entitled to full remuneration from the union but will be paid allowances whenever they attend meetings.
It also means that Milemba will continue as the Kuppet chairman until the union's next elections are held.
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The officials criticised the TSC move to sack their leaders, saying it was in bad faith and against the provision of labour laws.
The commission de-registered top officials of teachers' unions who have joined politics.
Regulation 187(1) and (2) of the Code of Regulations for Teachers dictates that teachers who seek elective positions and hold trade union positions must resign or retire from service.
But Mr Misori allayed fears that the officials would still seek leadership positions, adding that the law required that a person seeking election should be a member of that union or serving the union.
“No law has cited that teachers who are also branch officials should be sacked. The officials will only work part time, which is now in our constitution. We had foreseen this and amended the constitution in 2016,” he said.