The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has approved the registration of another union pushing the number of Teachers Unions in Kenya to three.
The Kenya Union of Special Needs Education Teachers (KUSNET) has been recognized by TSC in a ceremony officiated by TSC CEO Dr. Nancy Macharia.
The new union which already has an estimated 4,000 teachers with special needs, some of whom were in the already existing teachers’ unions are said to have already moved to Kusnet.
The move is likely to attract a heated debate, coming at a time when Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) has been condemning TSC over what it terms as attempts to kill the union, the situation exacerbated by monthly reduction in their membership.
“The Commission hereby affords full recognition of the union as the body representing interests of special needs education teachers in the employment of the Commission and who are paid up members of the Union and teachers with special needs in the employment of the Commission and who are paid up members of the union,” read the recognition agreement between TSC and Kusnet.
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In the signed agreement seen by People Daily,the recognition agreement stated that negotiations between the employer and the Union will be conducted in a free and conducive environment devoid of threats to or actual industrial action or lock out and in a proper, structured, cordial and professional manner.
“Parties hereby agree to negotiate in good faith and solve all disputes amicably with a view to uphold and promote the best interest of learners. To this end, parties agree that there shall be no threats or actual threat to lock out or industrial action during the negotiations,” the agreement stated.
According to the agreement, the commission reserves the sole right to conduct it business and manage its operations as mandated by the Constitution, TSC Act, 2012 and all other relevant statutes, without interference with the Union’s internal affairs except as provided in the agreement or under any other written law.
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On the other hand, the union reserves the right to conduct its business in conformity with the relevant law and regulations without interference with the commission’s internal affairs except as provided in the agreement or under any other written law.
This comes at a time KNUT is embroiled in a tussle with TSC over funds. KNUT has accused TSC for denying them dues and even removing KNUT members from the official TSC register in an attempt to bring TSC on its knees.
Already a good number of KNUT members had a ready withdrawn from the KNUT with some Joining KUPPET while others remains without a Union.
KNUT is warning up for official elections with some members already throwing their weight behind the current Secretary General Wilson Sossion.
They say his firm stand and advocacy for teachers rights under the KNUT umbrella makes him the best candidate to hold the office.