Trans Nzoia: KNUT officials accuse TSC of playing divisive card

Trans Nzoia KNUT secretary Dickson Okema addresses journalists in his office in Kitale. Photo/Aspect News

Kenya National Union of teachers (KNUT) officials in Trans Nzoia County have accused the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) of plans to cripple services of the trade union through a diversionary tactic in the payment of salaries.

Speaking in Kitale, the officials noted that the creation of two separate payroll systems by TSC is a well calculated move aimed at compelling member teachers to bolt out of the lobby group which champions teachers’ welfare.

“We are rejecting plans by TSC to use the divide and rule formula to ground the Union. Teachers will not be cowed by this dirty trick aimed at silencing their pursuit for their rights,” said area KNUT secretary Dickson Okema.

This follows a move by TSC to exclude senior teachers who are members of KNUT from the pay increment awarded to all other teachers in the July salary as per the 2016 collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

A statement from the commission said such members, who include head teachers and other teachers who hold KNUT posts will have to pay back all allowances paid out to them since July 2017, because they were not justified and amount to an illegality.

The KNUT chairman in the county George Wanjala accused TSC of contempt of court saying the body failed to honour a directive requiring the two parties to consider reviewing the prevailing schemes of service to align them with the CBA structure without breaching the code of regulations for teachers.

“TSC cannot come up with its own guidelines without operating within the legal framework and the spirit of consultation. We are not going to chicken out no matter the tricks,” said Mr. Wanjala.

TSC declined to collect and remit more than Sh135 million on behalf of the Knut national office for July, a duty it has always fulfilled even in its bitterest feuds with the union since it was established in 1957.