Knut, TSC to embrace dialogue

Friday, September 6th, 2019 00:00 |
Acting Knut secretary general Hesbon Otieno. Photo/PD/File


Divisions at the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) continued to play out yesterday after a splinter group took an unprecedented move to meet the tutors employer with the aim of restoring cordial working relations.

“We want to tell our teachers we will do what it takes to ensure we work together towards solving issues bedevilling the teaching fraternity,” said the acting Knut secretary general Hesbon Otieno.

The Knut’s steering committee meeting with Teachers Service Commission (TSC) comes against the backdrop of bad blood between the two entities, even as the latter introduced two parallel payrolls. 

In a fresh twist, individuals recently put in office by Knut’s National Executive Council (NEC) led by Otieno asked TSC to address pending issues, even as they agreed to embrace dialogue.

The team said the advisory council mandated it to meet with, not only TSC, but also President Uhuru Kenyatta and Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha. 

“We have agreed to move forward. We will not allow ourselves to be pushed back by one person. We are moving forward and we will continue fighting for teachers.

We have agreed on an out-of-court settlement for cases in court between us and TSC. Where there is a will, there is a way and TSC has listened to us,” Knut’s chairman Wycliffe Omucheyi stated.

They spoke after a meeting at TSC headquarters, where they said they were received “extremely well” by the Commission’s leadership.  Otieno assured teachers the steering committee was equal to the task, saying its members were aware of the challenges affecting tutors. 

Their move leaves Wilson Sossion, who insists he is the bona fide Secretary General, a lone ranger despite the court reinstating him. Sossion said he was fully back to work and discharging his mandate. 

Diplomatic manner

He invited the rest of the leadership to work with him, saying the labour strife was unnecessary.

“All grievances should be resolved in an amicable manner with a view to achieving sustainable industrial peace.

Never again should the union face this type of attack and if there are issues, we should be able to handle them meticulously and in the most diplomatic manner,” he had said earlier in the week.

The interdiction of teachers in April for boycotting Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) training is among key issues Knut wants TSC to address urgently.

Otieno said TSC committed to listen to Knut to restore normalcy in the teaching fraternity and good working relations.

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