Knut officials vow to protect union from ‘State interference’

Monday, January 11th, 2021 00:00 |
Teachers converse after the Knut Bomet branch election on Saturday. Photo/PD/Felix Yegon

Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) officials have vowed to fight for the union’s survival.

The officials said despite the numerous challenges they are currently facing, they will continue supporting and protecting it from being ‘killed’ by some Government forces. 

Knut has proceeded to conduct elections in all its branches ahead of the national poll set for March. Elections for branches started last weekend across the country.

Giving an indication that not even the financial crisis brought about as a result of its wars with the Teachers’ Service Commission (TSC) will weaken the union, hundreds of members converged at various branches and elected new office holders.

Some 16 branches from Rift valley, Nyanza and Eastern held the election on Friday and Saturday.

Knut has been at war with TSC where it accused the teachers employer of failing to deduct and remit members’ dues.

Consequently, the union claims it is yet to receive money for the last one and half years.

Union also claims TSC has continued to withhold the register of its members in a clear move aimed at weakening it.

Speaking in Bomet on Saturday, the officials maintained that despite the spirited attempts by the government to kill the once giant teachers’ union in the country, their resolve to remain united and safeguard it was irresistible.

Knut Assistant secretary-general Clement Gitau said the union was currently faced with lack of financial resources.

This,  however, he said has not stopped them carrying out the programmes, which include conducting the poll. 

While hitting out at TSC, Gitau claimed it had been misled into believing that a strong union was not good for the education system.

Gitau said the open bias against Knut members in implementing the 2017  CBA was a clear indicator that TSC was out to kill the union.

“Operations in our branch stopped more than a year ago due to lack of funds. We are urging TSC to stop  suffocating Knut and play by the rules.”

Gitau used the opportunity to ask the government not to interfere with the upcoming national union election.

Malel Langat, who was re-elected Bomet branch Executive Secretary echoed Gitau’s sentiments, saying the government will not succeed in its push to kill the union.

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