The Teachers Service Commission, KNUT Teachers has been accused of allegedly killing the Kenya National Union of Teachers. These sentiments came from former PM Raila Odinga has who launched a scathing attack on the TSC.
In a strong-worded statement, the ODM leader said: “Through a series of intentional actions, the TSC has disabled and is now en route to killing Knut. (TSC Is Killing KNUT)
“The teachers may have been subdued and gone silent as a monumental movement they built from scratch since 1957, and which they took pride in, is brought to its knees. But they are certainly not happy,” said Raila on the day he marked his 76 birthday.
In a move that his supporter’s claim has weakened him ahead of 2022, since the handshake, Raila has been very soft on the government. Raila on Thursday questioned the cause of bitter disagreement that has destroyed a union that’s Kenya’s face on labor relations.
“A dispute between the Teachers Service Commission and the Kenya National Union of Teachers has increasingly degenerated into a major misunderstanding that is threatening to kill an organization long seen as the face of organized labor in Kenya,” he said.
The membership of the union has shrunk from a high of 187,000 to 23,000, Raila said, since the battle between Knut and the TSC began in 2018. The “series of intentional actions” Raila is referring to are interpretations of a circular nullified by Judge Byram Ongaya at the Employment and Labour Relations Court on July 12, 2019.
It was a case that the TSC had sued Knut for opposing a document that had been introduced to guide promotions of teachers, called Career Progression Guidelines. However, the TSC by choice or interpretation of the law chose to apply it only to Knut members.
In a brief time, the progression guidelines had been implemented, the application first wiped all the career progression guidelines that teachers had gained. Before the introduction of the CPG, they lost the promotions they had gained in the implementation, and salaries were slashed to levels.
Since then, the numbers have slowly dwindled, with those leaving getting their status reinstated. The numbers have reduced and income dwindled from Sh144 million to Ksh15 million monthly.
“This affecting the union that needs at least Sh80 million to salary its employees spread across the country,” Raila said.
Raila faulted TSC for disregarding court orders and parliamentary recommendations on the matter.”The courts and the Parliamentary Committee on Education have pronounced themselves in concurrence loudly and clearly on this dispute, especially in Petition Number 151 of 2018 in which the TSC was the petitioner against Knut.
Yet as the school year begins, the old grievances remain. There is no indication that TSC will undertake a full implementation of the 2017-21 Comprehensive Bargaining Agreement as demanded by Knut and sanctioned by the courts and Parliament.
“There are also no indications that TSC intends to pay the dues that have been denied members of Knut. There is equally no indication the TSC will restore Knut’s membership register to its June 2019 status,” he said.