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Standoff looms at KNUT HQs as Sossion obtains order stopping NEC meeting

“I have obtained a court order from the Employment and Labor Relations Court outlawing any meeting, until a later date that I shall communicate. You understand there has been a well-orchestrated and a well-funded campaign to humiliate me,” KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion told reporters on Wednesday/FILE – CFM

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 29 – Embattled Kenya National Union of Teachers Secretary General Wilson Sossion on Wednesday obtained a court order outlawing any National Executive Council (NEC) meeting ahead of an ouster attempt that was set to take place on Thursday.

Sossion said some members of the union’s governing body were out to humiliate him by unlawfully ejecting him from office.

“I have obtained a court order from the Employment and Labor Relations Court outlawing any meeting, until a later date that I shall communicate. You understand there has been a well-orchestrated and a well-funded campaign to humiliate me,” the union leader told reporters on Wednesday.

Union leaders at KNUT headquarters on Thursday denied having been served with the said court orders issued by Justice Byram Ongaya on Wednesday.

Sossion, who has already closed KNUT headquarters in Nairobi until the September 3, said he is still the union’s spokesperson and that he can only be removed from office by those who elected him.

“Forget this story of Sossion being thrown out because am not quitting, the only people who can remove me are the delegates who elected me, so if anyone wants me out should wait for the forthcoming Annual Delegates Conference in December to campaign,” he said.

According to Sossion, there are strong forces behind the sustained attacks on the union. He accused the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) of trying to manipulate the union into getting a leader of its choice.

Sossion said there are individuals with vested interests seeking to collapse the union because of their selfish interests.

“No employer can choose leaders for a trade union because that will be the beginning of the death of that particular union and the labor movement. So fundamentally what’s happening is an attack on the trade union movement which is wrong,” he said.

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Sossion’s frosty relationship with TSC started when he incited teachers to boycott training on the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) that led to interrupting training in several centers across the country.

KNUT also found itself in the receiving end after TSC stopped a pay increase for 103, 624 teachers holding administrative positions who are also members of the union.

TSC also announced that it will recover enhanced salaries and allowances paid out to KNUT members since July 1, 2017.

This was in accordance with a judgment of the Employment and Labor Relations Court that stopped the implementation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), necessitating the preparation of the two parallel payrolls, in order to comply with the court order without affecting teachers who are not KNUT members.

Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) has been wooing KNUT members to join the union assuring them of benefits under the CBA.

KUPPET claims over 18,000 teachers have quit KNUT and applied to become their members following the pay increment fall out, claims that Sossion termed them as ‘propaganda’ adding that his union’s membership is intact.

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