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KNUT Embarks On Recruitment Drive Targeting 100,000 Membership

The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Secretary-General Collins Oyuu had an uphill task upon being elected unopposed to his position after the withdrawal of former KNUT Sec-Gen Wilson Sossion.

One of the main tasks was the recruitment of new members as dwindling numbers had been caused by the public conflict between Wilson Sossion and the Teachers Service Commission (TSC).

In the KNUT’s National Advisory Council Meeting held in December 2021 at the Nyayo National Stadium, all 110 branch executive secretaries were given a target of getting 1000 forms to new members to boost the return of teachers to the union.

The exercise began on January 17, 2022, as branch executive secretaries and school representatives worked together with dispatched officers in the national executive to coordinate the process in all KNUT branches.

KNUT has been trying to persuade non-unionized teachers who have been paying Agency Fees, a government levy, to join the union and register with the union. This will in turn give them powers as members to be involved in the decision-making process and election of union leaders.

“We are directing our branches on behalf of the National Executive Council to convene and discuss the recruitment of members back to the Union. Depending on Agency Fee is not a secure way of operating as a union,” said Oyuu via a KNUT Circular.

In following with the Labor Relations Act of 2007 employees who are non-unionized but benefit from the terms of employment negotiated by the body in a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) are deducted an agency fee.

Teachers have been given encouragement to register with KNUT via the online T-Pay platform and via filling the blue forms to be used as backup evidence of consent for the teachers.

The recruitment drive is targeting teachers in primary schools who left the union when things were not going smoothly with TSC.

Around 150,000 members left KNUT when its relationship with TSC was in a bad state. Disagreements over the promotion of teachers and transfers and the implementation of the 2017 – 2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) were the main causes of the breakdown in the relationship between TSC and former KNUT Secretary-General Wilson Sossion.

TSC data reveals that KNUT members reduced from 187.471 to 34,312 between July 2019 and October 2020. A further drop in membership in 2021 led to the union having only 16,000 members. This situation led to operations of the union almost being paralyzed.

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