, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 12 – The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) wants Labour Cabinet Secretary Phyllis Kandie to intervene and help resolve its tussle with the Teachers Service Commission over non-remittance of teachers union dues.
Through the lawyer Paul Muite, the giant teachers’ union wants Kandie to appoint a conciliator in the matter citing the non-remittance of union dues has affected operations in its 110 branches.
“This letter is a formal request by KNUT that you instruct TSC to immediately remit the deduction for the months of October, November and December 2015 and henceforth effect future deduction sand remission without any delay. Alternatively please immediately appoint a conciliator on these issues of union dues,” he stated in the letter to the CS.
“I am instructed to reiterate that KNUT would wish to see this and other issues in dispute resolved amicably but will not hesitate to initiate all lawful means to secure the interests of the teachers including but not limited to appropriate court proceedings.”
He claimed that the objective of denying KNUT funds is aimed at paralysis its operations and rendering it unable to fight for the welfare of teachers.
“KNUT has not doubts at all that the complaints by the few teachers who may have complained and the subsequent ‘validation exercise’ extending to all KNUT membership is but an excuse, not a reason. It is not a coincidence that this failure to effect and remit union dues comes hot on the heels of an acrimonious dispute over basic salaries. Significantly, the GoK took a public position on the issues to which TSC is co-towing despite its constitutional independence,” Muite argued.
KNUT further complained that the commission is yet to hand over the details of teachers it claims had objected to deduction and remittance of union dues claiming they are not members.
Muite claimed this has made it to validate the complaints adding it was unreasonable for TSC to continue withholding deductions for over 20,000 teachers who voluntarily signed for the check off system for the union dues.
The teachers’ union declared that it will not be able to comply with the CS’s directive that it holds elections because it does not have funds to handle the logistics countrywide.
“Your ministry has directed KNUT to hold elections. You must be aware that without the union dues, it will be logistically challenging for KNUT to conduct the elections. As a minimum, I am instructed to request that you instruct TSC to release KNUT’s register of members since it is only on the basis of the members register that credible elections can be held,” Muite said.