This Is What Is Happening in Sossion’s Camp Ahead of June Elections
The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Secretary-General Wilson Sossion is set to face stiff competition in the looming KNUT elections.
There is talk of a potential revolt from tutors registered with the union as the date for the elections approaches. The KNUT elections are slated for the 26th of June 2021.
On Tuesday, the KNUT secretary-general sent a notice to all National Executive Council (NEC) members to attend an emergency meeting this coming Saturday at Mfangano, Nairobi. There have been rumors that the elections could be conducted virtually.
“You are hereby notified of a special National Executive Council (NEC) meeting scheduled to be held on Saturday, June 12th, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. in the NEC boardroom (KNUT Headquarters 6th Floor). Please, more arrangement to attend without fail,” read a notice from KNUT Sec-Gen Wilson Sossion sent to all NEC members.
It has been rumored that Sossion, who has been outside the country for some time now, wanted the looming elections to be done virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, some NEC members and delegates who participate in the voting are against it.
Following some regions denouncing his leadership, what could transpire in the meeting is yet to be known.
Sossion’s rival Collins Oyuu with his entourage has been touring various counties trying to entice delegate votes for him and his entourage in the 26th June of 2021 KNUT elections.
Those against Wilson Sossion are claiming the bad relationship between him and the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) is the reason the lives of teachers have become harder.
KNUT’s rival the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) is set to meet the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) and the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) for talks over the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).
The SRC chairperson Lyn Mengich said that the Commission was exploring the submissions that TSC made concerning the proposals of the teachers on their salaries and that they shall respond after that.
“Please note that the commission is looking into the submission, the outcome will be communicated. We will give directives in the next two weeks,” said Mengich.
The current CBA was signed in the year 2017 and has been implemented over the last four years costing Kshs. 54 billion and shall expire on June 30, 2021.
The new CBA is set to be implemented from the 1st of July, 2021.
“TSC should not put us in the collision course with the government, and disrupt the industrial peace in the teaching service by engaging in mischievous and illegal ways of conceiving, negotiating and implementing the CBA,” stated Sossion during a past interview.
The elections will not be the only challenge that the KNUT secretary-general has faced recently.
The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Secretary-General has seen his deregistration from the Teachers Service Commission upheld.
The Employment and Labour Relations Court upheld TSC’s decision to deregister the ODM nominated Member of Parliament as a teacher due to gross misconduct.
The ruling gave him the opportunity to defend his seat in the upcoming June elections as per the Labour and Relations Act.
However, KNUT’s constitution does not allow individuals who are not teachers to vie for seats. The stipulations and Labour and Relations Act override the laws of the union. The Act’s stipulations allow a secretary-general of a trade union to be any person including those who are involved or employed in the sector involved.
“The judgment is a non-issue to me because the Labour Act allows me to vie for the secretary-general post. The only thing I can lose is my personal benefits as a teacher,” said Mr. Wilson Sossion, the KNUT Secretary General, after the ruling.
TSC de-registered the KNUT secretary-general in a gazette notice dated the 1st of November, 2019, while quoting section 30 of the TSC Act in the process.
The Commission accused Sossion of breaching the third schedule of the TSC Act and the TSC code by causing insensibility of the competency-based curriculum-based curriculum (CBC) training in 11 counties.
Besides, TSC accused Wilson Sossion of breaching the Public Officer’s Act and the Code of Regulation for Teachers when he accepted his nomination to the national assembly.
Sossion was aggrieved by his de-registration and took the Commission to court and accused them of making an unreasonable and unjust decision that was intended the education sector.
He sought the court to declare TSC’s decision null and void and to issue orders to stop TSC from going ahead with implementing their decision.
Lawyer Paul Mwite represented Mr. Sossion who maintained that his main reason for his de-registration was to defeat the legal proceedings that were pending in court.
In TSC’s defense, TSC lawyer Fred Ngatia said Mr. Sossion had been notified of his de-registration as a teacher on the 29th of July, 2019 but he did not respond within 90 days.
While reading the judgment in Nairobi on Tuesday, Justice Stephen Radido dismissed Mr. Sossion’s case saying that it lacked merit.
He said that Mr. Sossion did not suggest in his pleadings and submissions whether the section was invalid or against the law.
The Employment and Labor Relations Court declined Sossion’s attempt to protect his position as a teacher within the corridors of justice after the 2019 attempt failed.
It remains to be seen whether the ruling will put to an end Sossion’s career and his long and much-discussed disputed between him and the Teachers Service Commission (TSC).