TSC says will hold union dues longer amid Cotu protests

Teachers’ unions will have to wait longer for their dues as the tutors’ employer conducts an audit of its members.

The Teacher Service Commission (TSC) said a number of teachers had complained about the monthly deductions yet they were not members of the two combative unions- the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) and the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet).

“We are currently cleansing our payroll to be sure which teacher belongs to which union and we will pay union dues once we are done,” TSC chief executive Nancy Macharia told the Senate Committee on Education on Wednesday.

But the Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) and Knut protested the move, saying that the TSC was out to cripple them in the wake of the spat over higher teachers’ pay, which saw the teachers go on strike for five weeks.

Knut secretary-general Wilson Sossion said the fees were gazetted in 1998, adding that any teacher who enjoys terms negotiated by Knut must pay the monthly deductions.

“What TSC is doing is a breach of law and is intended to cripple our operation and embarrass us,” said Mr Sossion.

Cotu said it will move to court on Monday if the TSC fails to remit the deductions to the two unions. Knut and Kuppet collect about Sh2 billion annually as membership fee from 240,000 teachers across the country at the rate of two per cent of basic salary.

Knut collects about Sh1.6 billion — that is Sh135 million monthly from 206,000 teachers — while Kuppet, with 34,000 members, collects about 35 million a month or about Sh425 million a year.