alexa Knut branches feel the heat as cash row rages - Daily Nation

Knut branches feel the heat as cash row rages

Saturday August 24 2019

Knut Secretary-General Wilson Sossion

Knut Secretary-General Wilson Sossion (left). PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

OUMA WANZALA
By OUMA WANZALA
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Activities at the 110 branches of the Kenya National Union of Teachers countrywide have ground to a halt following the decision by Teachers Service Commission not to deduct agency dues from members’ pay.

The development comes even as Knut Secretary-General Wilson Sossion says he is not at war with the government.

A number of branch officials say the situation is dire as the union has not paid secretaries, office assistants, clerks, guards and other workers for two months.

Branch annual general meetings have been suspended indefinitely due to the crisis.

The officials add that banks and other financial institutions want their loans paid.

Knut receives Sh140 million every month from TSC as union dues.

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Mr Sossion admitted that the union is in a financial hole.

“We have not received funds for two months and we appeal to TSC to remit the cash,” he said.

Last week, the Employment and Labour Relations Court ordered TSC to remit the money to the giant union.

In January, the commission was ordered to give Knut the agency fee but it declined and instead settled the fee for the rival Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet).

Knut claims it has been denied Sh50 million monthly fee from thousands of teachers who are not unionised.

Kuppet has been receiving the cash from teachers at 1.8 per cent of basic salary.

The money is charged on teachers who are non-members and who reap from the benefits negotiated by the unions.

Meanwhile, Central Organisation of Trade Unions Secretary-General Francis Atwoli has urged Knut officials to work closely and avoid ‘unnecessary’ wrangles.

“Cotu (K) reiterates that the differences exhibited within the leadership of Knut are not in the interest of teachers,” Mr Atwoli said in a statement Friday.

“We caution Knut leadership against falling prey to divisive politics as that will cause division and weaken the union.”