Teachers Blame TSC on Pressuring them into Joining a “unwanted” Union
Teachers Blame TSC on Pressuring them into Joining a “unwanted” Union. A recent dispute over agency fee deductions to a union has special education teachers asking the National Assembly to intervene.
They claim that the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) coerced them into joining the Kenya Union of Special Needs Education Teachers (Kusnet).
In a letter dated April 15, 2023, addressed to Julius Melly, chair of the National Assembly Education Committee, the teachers declared their separation from the union. They contend that they were not notified before being identified as Kusnet members.
They asserted that Kusnet was receiving agency fees, which represented their union dues, without their permission.
The teachers are requesting that the committee direct TSC and Kusnet to reimburse any money taken from teachers who did not sign a membership agreement with the union.
They have also requested that the committee decide whether TSC has the authority to decide which union the employees should join.
“We filed a complaint over the [problem] after being compelled to pay monthly union dues, which were later discontinued, in order to subscribe to [Kusnet]. Later, we discovered that agency fees are being deducted in favor of the same union,” the teachers wrote in their petition. Teachers contend that their employer ought to permit them to sign up for the union of their choosing.
By requiring them to join Kusnet rather than the other teachers’ unions, they alleged that TSC had infringed their rights as protected by the Constitution and labor laws. The teachers stated that even after they filed a lawsuit to try to halt the practice, their employer kept taking money from their salaries, including the fee for the social welfare group.
“Kusnet lacks reputable regional offices or community involvement. The petition’s signatories, who were instructors, protested that the union didn’t hold annual general meetings, yearly delegate conferences, or secret elections.
The petition has been distributed to the clerks of the Senate and National Assembly, the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut), the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet), the TSC CEO, and the secretaries general of Kusnet.