FALLOUT

Women teachers back TSC in rivalry with Knut

Kenya Women Teachers Association disagrees with Knut's calls to disband TSC

In Summary

• Kewota has supported employer's delocalisation policy which Knut disputed

• Knut previously threatened to delist its members who joined Kewota

TSC CEO Nancy Macharia during the launch of Teacher Professional Development at Crowne Plaza on April 16, 2018.
TSC CEO Nancy Macharia during the launch of Teacher Professional Development at Crowne Plaza on April 16, 2018.
Image: FILE

The Teachers Service Commission has received support from the Kenya Women Teachers Association over disputed policies the employer has recently adopted.

Kewota on Wednesday sharply disagreed with calls to disband TSC as proposed by the Kenya National Union of Teachers to the Building Bridges Initiative.

The association further supported the controversial teacher transfers known as the delocalisation policy imposed by the teachers' employer but disputed by Knut.

"Teachers employment contract stipulates that you can work anywhere in the country and that is what the delocalisation policy is simply implementing... However, if any of our members feel disgruntled then they can, in writing, seek TSC for transfers," Kewota chairperson Dorothy Muthoni said in Nairobi.

The development now threatens to escalate the already unpleasant relationship between the union and TSC even as the employer finds solace in the new women's outfit.

Further, Kewota's stand now raises speculation of claims it is being used by the government to fight Knut. 

However, Muthoni on Wednesday said the association does not intend to replace the role of Knut but cover teachers' welfare.

"Unions have the sole purpose of defending labour rights and anything beyond that to touch on welfare matters is overstretching their mandate. That is why we are here," she said. 

Knut's top organs have rejected the splinter Kewota, which is threatening to tear the giant teachers' union down the middle. 

 

The union has previously termed the association as a government creation that is on a mission to weaken it and previously threatened to delist its members who joined the outfit.

The future of Knut members who are allied to Kewota is now unclear.

Muthoni was the first Knut national woman representative. 

Benta Opande, former union executive officer, is Kewota's CEO. The current Knut national woman representative Jacinta Ndegwa is Kewota's national treasurer.

“Over the years, women teachers have chosen to join us and we have so far been joined by 69,800 members, all under government payroll,” she said.

They further say they will target retired and non-practising teachers. 

Edited by R.Wamochie