Rival teachers' union open fight with TSC over registration of 16,014 members

Kuppet secretary General Akello Misori (right) and his deputy Moses Nthurima addressing the press at a Nairobi hotel. [Photo by Beverlyne Musili/Standard]

A teachers’ union has taken the battle to have deductions from 16,000 teachers remitted to it to court.

The Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) wants the court to compel the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to remit the dues to it and not its rival, the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut).

Through lawyer Leonard Njau, Kuppet wants TSC to stop remitting the teachers’ deductions to Knut until the dispute is resolved.

“Kuppet is in danger of collapsing due to TSC’s decision to disregard a recognition agreement between them. They have allowed Knut to continue recruiting and collecting dues from post-primary teachers when there is a clear demarcation of which union should represent them,” said Njau. It also wants Knut stopped from recruiting the teachers.

The union wants TSC ordered to respect a recognition agreement signed in 2010, directing them to remit dues from post-primary education teachers to Kuppet.

Clarify demarcation

The union’s secretary general, Akelo Misori, asked the court to step in to clarify the demarcation between Kuppet and Knut, ‘after TSC reneged on the agreement’.

Mr Misori said Kuppet was not able to cater for the welfare of secondary school teachers when it was formed in 1998 as it lacked the simple majority of membership to run the union. “But now that we have the numbers, TSC has no option but to transfer the teachers.

“When we attained the simple majority, we entered into a recognition agreement with TSC, which acknowledged that we are the only organisation to ventilate issues affecting post-primary education teacher.”

He accused TSC of refusing to honour the agreement by allowing Knut to recruit all teachers and remitting the dues to the rival union.

Knut Secretary General Wilson Sossion said: “No act of mediation or reconciliation should take away teachers’ right to join a union of their choice.”

The Ministry of Labour had recommended that Knut should only represent primary school teachers and that their secondary school counterparts be left to Kuppet.