The Kenya Union of Special Needs Education Teachers (KUSNET) has now been recognized by the Teachers Service Commission as the third teachers union.
The new union will now collaborate with its employer to address matters regarding the welfare of special needs education teachers and teachers with special needs.
“The Commission hereby affords full recognition of the union as the body representing interests of special needs education teachers in the employment of the Commission and who are paid up members of the Union and teachers with special needs in the employment of the Commission and who are paid up members of the union,” reads the recognition agreement between TSC and KUSNET.Approximately 4,000 tutors with special needs already moved to KUSNET from the Kenya National Union of Teachers.
KNUT has accused TSC of trying to weaken the union by recognizing other unions including KUPPET which has seen KNUT’s membership significantly drop.
KNUT noted that its membership had reduced from 187,000 to about 30,000 while their income shrunk to Ksh 15 million from a high of Ksh 144 million.
The agreement with KUSNET also accords that the commission will not interfere with the Union’s internal affairs. The union, therefore, maintains the right to conduct its business.
“The union undertakes that no teacher will be compelled to become a member of the Union and the Commission undertakes that no teacher will be penalized on account of his/ her membership to the union or non-membership thereof,” read the agreement.
KNUT recently warned the TSC against delaying teachers’ salaries arguing that TSC had failed to respond to requests to start negotiations on the 2021-2025 new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).
The issue between the two bodies over salaries had KNUT further complaining that TSC had not involved them in the negotiations when they submitted salary proposals to the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC).
KNUT’s issues with TSC go beyond salaries as the commission’s Careers Progression Guidelines (CPG) was rejected because the union said it was illegal to promote teachers based on the performance of the learner.
“The code of regulation for teachers which is under the law recognizes promotion based on the years the teacher has worked and on merit unlike what TSC wants to use,” said Sossion.