Rebel Knut officials start talks with TSC, snob Sossion

Rebel Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) officials have started talks with their employers in a bid to get members who were sacked for opposing new curriculum training reinstated.

Knut is also looking to have members who quit the union return to the fold.

The officials also pleaded with Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to restore suspended salary increment for Knut members and to unlock the stalled monthly remittance union dues.

All Knut members have, for two months now, missed out on salary increments under phase three of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

And for two months, Knut has also not received union dues of about Sh240 million. The union was also denied Sh50 million agency fees, months after it secured favourable orders from the court. In addition to these, a huge chunk of members has opted out of the union citing harsh economic times and frustrations by the employer.

The details emerged after Knut officials, led by national Chairman Wycliffe Omuchei and acting Secretary General Hesbon Otieno, held the first meeting with the top leadership of TSC yesterday.

“The third term is short and busy ahead of the exams. We are working to ensure teachers are working in peace during this period,” said Mr Omuchei.

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Earlier yesterday, the officials ignored a meeting of the Steering Committee called by the embattled Secretary General Wilson Sossion, saying he was not recognised in the Knut leadership ranks.

Mr Sossion, however, said he called off the meeting after consulting the national chairman.

“I called off the meeting after speaking with Omuchei on phone. But what they are engaging in is contempt of court. They have no authority to commit the union in any way whatsoever. It is the secretary general who can commit the union and make pronouncements,” the nominated MP said.

TSC Administrative Services Director Ibrahim Mumin chaired the meeting on behalf of the Chief Executive Officer Nancy Macharia.

Al the union steering committee members, except Sossion, were present in the TSC meeting.

Speaking after the meeting with TSC, Omuchei said the employer was willing to engage the union on any issues affecting teachers.

Mr Otieno termed the initiative an effort to a new beginning to foster a cordial relationship with TSC.

“It is delightful that we are having talks with the commissioners over how to solve issues challenging the teachers, including to disband suspension of our members’ salary,” said Otieno.

The officials apologised to the commission on behalf of teachers facing disciplinary action, saying Sossion misled them.

“Though TSC has called them for hearing and since verdict has been released to some of them ranging from vindication, suspension, warnings and dismissal, we request TSC to give general pardon to all the affected teachers,” said Otieno.

Information from TSC shows that some 42 teachers have been dismissed.

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