Teachers Say No To TSC’s New Agency Fee Deductions To “Unwanted” Union.
Teachers have said no to the new agency fee deductions to an “unwanted” union introduced by the Teachers Service Commission, TSC.
Teachers in special schools have refused to join to the new union saying TSC can not force them into an unwanted union.
The special schools teachers have since petitioned the National Assembly to intervene in a fresh dispute over agency fee deductions to a union.
The teachers in special schools are accusing the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) of coercing them into joining the Kenya Union of Special Needs Education Teachers (Kusnet).
In a petition dated April 15, 2023, addressed to National Assembly Education Committee chair Julius Melly, the teachers have disassociated themselves from the union, saying, they were not consulted before being listed as members of Kusnet.
They said they were being deducted union dues in the form of agency fees without their approval and the money was being remitted to Kusnet (the new union).
The teachers now want with immediate effect the committee to order TSC and Kusnet to refund all the money deducted from teachers who did not sign any membership agreement with the union as agency fee.
Additionally, the teachers asked the committee to determine whether TSC has the jurisdiction to make decisions on behalf of the employees on the union they should join.
“We filed a case over the [issue] after having been forced to subscribe to [Kusnet] by paying monthly union dues, which were later stopped. We later realised that we are being deducted agency fees in favour of the same union,” said the teachers in their petition.
The Teachers argued that TSC should allow them to join a union of their choice.
They further said the move by Teachers Service Commission to compel them to join Kusnet instead of the other teachers’ unions is equal to an infringement on their rights as enshrined in the Constitution and labour laws.
According to the teachers, their employer continued to make deductions despite moving to court to stop the deductions on their salaries as agency fee to the said union.
“Kusnet does not have grassroots representation or known regional offices. The union does not conduct annual general meetings, annual delegates conferences and its elections are conducted in secrecy,” said the teachers in the petition.
Copies of the teachers in special schools’ petition has been forwarded to the TSC chief executive officer, the secretaries-general of Kusnet, the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) and the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet), and the clerks of the Senate and National Assembly hoping that their cry will be heard.