A union has dismissed as illegal, a three-month notice given to more than 288,000 teachers across the country to confirm their union membership.
Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) Secretary-General Wilson Sossion said it was the union’s sole mandate to recruit members, and urged Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to immediately withdraw the notice.
“What TSC is trying to do contravenes the International Labour Organisation (ILO) convention and the labour relation laws. TSC and its commissioners are poking their noses into issues that do not fall under its mandate” Mr Sossion said in Bomet on Sunday.
TSC Chief Executive Officer Nancy Macharia, in her directive, said the validation will run until February 28 next year and the commission will deactivate any invalidated data with effect from March 1.
Mrs Macharia said the decision to carry out validation had been arrived at following complaints from both teachers and the unions — Knut and the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet), over membership poaching and other irregularities.
The directive is contained in a circular dated November 24, 2015 and addressed to all TSC county directors and all stakeholders in the education sector, among them the two unions.
“We will not entertain this at all,” Mr Sossion said while at the same time advising teachers countrywide to ignore the circular and wait for a clear directive from the union.
Mr Sossion said their employer will go down on record as having mismanaged and embarrassed the teaching fraternity.
He said they had done so by defying court orders, failing to pay the teachers September salaries as well as not remitting union dues for the past three consecutive months, among others.
“The intention of TSC to deny teachers their pay and union dues was meant to make teachers of this country beggars, but this sinister scheme will not succeed” he noted.
He urged the commission to respect the rule of law and pay what rightfully belongs to teachers and their unions.
Mr Sossion further told TSC Chairperson Lydia Nzomo and Mrs Macharia to first clean the commission before interfering with the teachers and their respective unions.
He questioned the Jubilee administration’s commitment to education of Kenyan youth and accused it of playing a major role in jeopardising the education sector.