Official calls on Knut, teachers’ employer to bury the hatchet
Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) has urged the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) leadership to drop its hardline stance and sort out its differences with the Teachers Service Commission (TSC).
Kuppet national chairman Omboko Milemba said the stalemate between Knut and TSC was not healthy for industrial relations, adding that the tough positions taken by both parties has left more than 200,000 teachers without trade union representation.
Speaking in Siaya town after commissioning a welfare bus bought by Kuppet Siaya branch on Sunday, Milemba, the Emuhaya Member of Parliament, said he was ready to support Knut Secretary-General Wilson Sossion in negotiations with TSC, which will culminate in the restoration of its membership.
“I am urging my brother Sossion to sit down with TSC. I am willing to lend a hand so that we go with him,” he said.
Milemba called on Sossion and the Knut leadership to withdraw court cases lodged against the teachers’ employer as a sign of good will.
Milemba, however, denied claims that Kuppet was a beneficiary of the stalemate, adding no Knut member had joined them.
He said Kuppet was registered to serve post-primary education institutions and secondary school teachers, and therefore cannot accommodate the bulk of Knut members.
“We shall not even invite them because if they come into Kuppet, soon we shall be Knut and because they have high numbers, we shall lose the dream, which we originally had of representing this sector and cadre of education,” said Milemba who was flanked by Siaya branch Executive secretary, Sam Opondo.
The Kuppet boss said the country needs strong unions for teachers, hence the need to have both Knut and Kuppet and a strong umbrella for Kenyan workers.
Elsewhere, Kuppet has urged TSC to transfer teachers who have fallen victims of assault by students.
Decrying the rising cases of assault on teachers by students, Laikipia branch Executive Secretary Robert Miano, said affected teachers can avoid victimisation and stigmatisation was through transfers.
Miano said assaulting a teacher has a devastating impact on teachers’ confidence.
While citing an incident where a Form Three student at Murichu Secondary School in Ndaragwa assaulted a teacher, Miano said if the TSC fails to transfer the teacher, the other students will turn him into a laughing stock.—KNA