KNUT To Face Bigger Problems , Analysts

KNUT To Face Bigger Problems , Analysts

The Kenya national union of teachers, KNUT, has suffered several problems in the hands of the teachers’ service commission, TSC, which have impaired its operations country wide.

Currently, KNUT has begun shutting down its 110 offices countrywide amid financial woes. This will leave the few remaining members with no nearby offices to approach for KNUT services.

Knut staff has not received salaries for months now and their medical insurance premiums not remitted. The next thing will be mass resigning by KNUT employees over accrued dues.

“Office property is being auctioned because of accrued rent arrears,” Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) Secretary-General Wilson Sossion himself has revealed.

All these are happening simply because The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has continued to withhold the union’s dues since 2019.

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Due to financial constraints that have visited the once giant union, the annual delegates’ conference was not held last year and it may not be held this year too.

Knut is also not receiving agency fees, which are usually shared to unions to cover for teachers who are non members.

KNUT is blaming TSC for mass exit of members from the union yet members quit willingly after feeling betrayed by KNUT and losing trust in KNUT.

More Woes to come

Analysts have projected even more serious woes and are calling what KNUT is undergoing currently as child play.

“What Sossion does not get right is that he is the reason why the union is undergoing all these,” says one of the analysts interviewed by elimupedia staff.

KNUT is presently complaining that it has only 34,312 members at the end of October, down from 187,471 members in June 2019 and wants TSC to reinstate the members. What KNUT should know is that even the few remaining members are unlikely to stay till December. Some will be forced to press the reject button. This will be pushed by dissatisfaction with union since they can no longer get proper services as most offices have already been shut. With hungry staff at KNUT county offices, teachers may not get the treatment they deserve, triggering them to pull out in massive numbers.

With the staff going months without salaries, they will soon resign and no job seeker will be willing to take their positions. Nobody can work without pay. Who will serve the members at the grass root levels? Members will feel even more neglected and quit until KNUT will only remain with the delegates and Sossion himself.

With the accrued rent arrears and auctioning of KNUT’S assets, there is even more likely hood that KNUT will be evicted from its offices along Mfang’ano lane. Will it be possible for KNUT to operate minus physical offices?

KNUT should not expect any peace so long as Sossion is still in that office. TSC, through its past actions has showed that it hates Sossion. The former deregistered the unionist cum legislator and attempted to replace him with His deputy, Hesbon Otieno as SG. Sossion however stuck to the office and challenged all attempts to ouster him. TSC then gave members an online option to self-quit the unions. Members quit since they felt betrayed by KNUT.

KNUT sacrificed her members’ medical allowance to the deadly AON MINET, a move that teachers still regret up to this minute. KNUT was promised billions to make this wrong move, leaving the members in extreme suffering in the hands of AON MINET. Even if allowed to rejoin the union, members cannot come back until they see a change in leadership.

KNUT also rejected the 2017 50-60 % salary increment that was awarded by TSC to teachers, by negotiating for an unrealistic percentage. Teachers can never forgive him for that. Recently, she rejected 16-32% TSC salary increment proposal. It is projected that more teachers will exit the union, leaving KNUT with very low revenues.

There are higher chances of in-wrangles within KNUT since even the other KNUT national leaders are tired of being led by Sossion. This chaos will only ruin KNUT more. With a bankrupt and divide KNUT, nothing good can come out.  No salary increment, no development projects, no lawyers, no strikes, no courts…..no peace,

Teachers will continue suffering with Sossion as the SG since TSC’s problem is with Sossion, and not teachers.TSC has accused Sossion of fighting against the de-localization programmes, implementation of the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) , the school laptop project , the implementation of career development guidelines, promotion of teachers and the implementation of the 2016-2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Advice to KNUT

Peace will only come to KNUT once Sossion resigns. For now, instead of complaining over low numbers and low revenue, KNUT should consider lowering salaries of the officials and the employees. They should also migrate to offices that they can afford and cut some of their expenses. Why should KNUT operate above its budget? Ksh. 25M that they claim they get per month presently is too much, with proper planning.

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