Simmering tension between the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) appears to have come to a head.
TSC has written to Knut stating its intention to terminate a Recognition Agreement that has been in force since 1968.
TSC has cited declining membership numbers of Knut as the basis for its decision to terminate the agreement.
According to TSC, Knut no longer meets the threshold of 110,000 members. That automatically nullifies their agreement in line with labour rules.
Knut Secretary General Wilson Sossion claims TSC has been enticing teachers to leave the union.
Should TSC have its way, the right to defend teachers and participate in Comprehensive Bargaining Agreements will be taken away from Knut and given to Kenya Union of Post Primary Teachers Union (Kuppet), whose membership now surpasses 110,000.
An offshoot of Knut, Kuppet has been chipping away at Knut and enjoys bigger membership today.
However, it does not escape public attention that Sossion is at the heart of the bad blood between TSC and Knut. He has repeatedly rubbed TSC and the Ministry of Education the wrong way with his hardline leadership style.
His call for national teachers’ strikes between 2015 and 2016 over the government’s failure to implement a CBA, dabbling in politics as a nominated MP and his opposition to the new Competency-Based Curriculum have not endeared him to the powers that be.
A week ago, Sossion was de-registered as a teacher by TSC.
An attempt to remove him from office is yet to bear fruit. Viewed in this context, it is easy to conclude that TSC has issues with Sossion as an individual.
It is therefore wrong to push the whole of Knut down the precipice. After dealing with Sossion, TSC should now leave Knut alone.
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