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Union protests poaching JSS KNUT members to rival

The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) has protested against a decision by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to allegedly have Junior Secondary School registered under Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) rather than under Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT).

Mercy Ndung’u, the KNUT’s  2nd National Women representative termed the alleged decision by TSC to remove the newly recruited JSS teachers from KNUT membership to KUPPET as ‘a provocation of the highest order’.

She said the JSS teachers who were deployed to teach in public primary schools should automatically be under the membership of KNUT, and only leave to join KUPPET on their own volition.

“We are telling TSC to stop meddling in the affairs of teachers’ trade unions in the country and let the newly recruited JSS tutors join a union of their choice as members,” said Ndung’u.

The alleged move by TSC, Ndung’u lamented, was not only unjust but also aimed at weakening their bargaining power as KNUT when fighting for the rights and welfare of its members.

She threatened that KNUT would seek legal redress from the courts unless TSC stopped its intention to remove the more than 30,000 JSS teachers from KNUT membership.

The unionist was addressing the press at Bishop Delany Mixed Secondary School in Eldoret town during the Eldoret West Knut branch Annual General Meeting where she was the chief guest.

The event was graced by the union branch leaders drawn from the South Rift and North Rift regions led by Sammy Bor, the National Executive Council Rift Valley regional representative.

The outcry from KNUT was sparked by claims that hundreds of JSS teachers who had enlisted as KNUT members were allegedly removed from the union’s database.

In his remarks, Bor, who is also the union Eldoret East branch Executive Secretary, said TSC was out to deprive the union of resources to run its affairs for the benefit of members across the country.

“KNUT is going to write to TSC Chief Executive Officer Dr. Nancy Macharia demanding an explanation why JSS teachers who had enlisted as members were moved to KUPPET without their consent,” said Bor.

Bor claimed TSC was being cheeky by employing dubious means to defraud their union of its newly recruited members to strengthen other unions, which he stated was unacceptable.

“TSC should be neutral on matters related to trade unions for the sake of industrial harmony,” advised Bor.

By Kiptanui Cherono

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