KNUT and KUPPET are at odds over JSS Union Membership.
The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) and the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) are at odds over the membership of Junior Secondary School (JSS) teachers. KNUT has strongly opposed TSC’s proposal to register JSS teachers with the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) rather than KNUT.
According to KNUT, JSS teachers in public primary schools should be regarded members of their union by default, with the option to leave and join KUPPET willingly. The crux of the issue is union membership and how this change may affect KNUT’s ability to negotiate on behalf of its members.
In reaction to the perceived danger to their membership, KNUT representatives have warned that if TSC persists with its intention to transfer more than 30,000 JSS teachers from KNUT membership to KUPPET, they will take legal action. The union regards this decision as an attempt to weaken its bargaining strength when campaigning for their members’ rights and wellbeing.
Furthermore, during the Annual General Meeting of the Eldoret West KNUT branch, Mercy Ndung’u, the KNUT’s 2nd National Women Representative, addressed the press at Bishop Delany Mixed Secondary School in Eldoret town. Sammy Bor, the National Executive Council’s Rift Valley regional delegate, was instrumental in organizing this event, which brought together union branch leaders from the South and North Rift areas.
The problem has purportedly resulted in the removal of hundreds of JSS instructors who had previously enrolled as KNUT members from the union’s membership database. This development has infuriated KNUT members, who are worried about the impact on their union’s resources and capacity to handle its business for the benefit of members across the country.
Bor, who also serves as the union’s Eldoret East branch’s Executive Secretary, expressed worry that TSC’s measures were intended to deprive KNUT of freshly recruited members in order to bolster rival unions. He stressed the necessity of the TSC remaining neutral on union-related issues in the interest of industrial harmony.
KNUT plans to write to TSC’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Nancy Macharia, to ask why JSS teachers were transferred to KUPPET without their agreement. This issue highlights a significant disagreement about union participation in the education sector.