The relationship between the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) has hit rock bottom, with the former announcing that it has cut links with the latter. The teachers’ employer and the union have been at loggerheads for the better part of the past decade. The TSC has been uncomfortable with the union over its frequent demands for pay rises, better working conditions, and the employment of more teachers, among other ultimatums.
The move by the TSC, with tacit government support, is meant to silence the vocal teachers’ union.
The TSC has now terminated an agreement that has been in force since 15 th May, 1968.
CEO Nancy Macharia has issued a two-month notice to the teachers’ union, to culminate in the revocation of the pact.
“The Kenya National Union of Teachers does not have the simple majority of unionisable employees under the employment of Teacher Service Commission as of 4th November, 2019,” the TSC said in a letter.
While the union has, through a Facebook post, acknowledged being served with the letter, it is promising a tough fight for its survival.
“This is a battle. We will fight on the ground, in the air and even in water. Watch this space,” the Facebook post says.
Knut has been fighting back since the TSC announced that it recognises only the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) and the government-linked Kenya Women Teachers Association (KEWOTA) that a large number of female teachers have subscribed to.
The oldest teachers organisation has in the recent past accused the employer of failing to deduct monthly contributions from its members’ pay, thus hampering the union’s operations.
News reports indicate that the TSC plans to take the union officials across the country back to college, while those who have attained the retirement age will be let go, as another legal battle looms.