The Teachers Service Commission has begun deducting union dues after a three-month suspension.
However, the TSC is doing so for teachers who have already validated their union membership, an exercise that has been opposed by the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) and the Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers.
“Indeed it is true. The TSC deducted union dues last month,” a teacher told the Nation on Tuesday.
The validation, which started in December last year, is expected to end on February 29. The commission will then deactivate any unvalidated data from March 1.
Knut and Kuppet have not been receiving the Sh170 million monthly dues because of the validation and the decision to release the funds has come as a relief to the unions.
Knut expects to conduct elections in its 110 branches countrywide between February 19 and 26.
National elections will be held early March. The union’s top officials say the elections will cost Sh100 million.
Kuppet will conduct branch elections in the 47 counties from March 12 to 18 and national office polls on March 19.
Knut collects Sh135 million every month from its 206,000 members while Kuppet, with 34,000 teachers, gets about Sh35 million.
The two unions get their money from two per cent of every member’s monthly pay.
According to the TSC, about 48,000 teachers do not belong to any union. These are mostly school heads.
Knut and Kuppet officials welcomed the commission's decision to deduct the monthly subscriptions.
“The union dues have been deducted but the money is yet to be wired to our accounts,” Knut Secretary-General Wilson Sossion said yesterday.
His Kuppet counterpart Akelo Misori said the union could now carry out its activities that had been halted.
“What they are doing is what they were supposed to have done [a] long time ago,” he said.
TSC Chief Executive Officer Nancy Macharia last year said the validation process was prompted by complaints from teachers and the two unions. The TSC said it was dealing with more than 10,000 cases of forged membership.
The validation exercise is being done online. The system can be accessed at http://payslip.tsc.go.ke.
The unions softened their hard-line position and decided to engage TSC on the release of the funds.