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Moments That Deteriorated Sossion-TSC Relationship


Wilson Sossion broke down and wept while quitting the Kenya National Union of Teacher (KNUT) on Friday, June 25. Sossions eight year reign as the unions Secretary-General came to an abrupt end with the unexpected announcement.

The Nominated MP, couldn’t hide his anger and pain at how the government and the Teachers Service Commission has been allegedly punishing teachers in a vengeance mission against him. 

In the company of his children, he lashed out at the government but at the same time, requested it to finance teachers now that he had stepped out of power. 

“I was a smart teacher at Tenwek High School, Bomet County when I was selected by teachers to lead them. Most of my students are lawyers. In my subject, till now, I have the most As (in KCSE). But the government says they cannot help teachers because of Sossion. Now let them release the teachers dues,” Sossion urged as he wiped the tears in his eyes. 

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Wilson Sossion at a press conference on Friday, June 25, 2021

File

His eight year reign was embroiled with several litigations, verbal and public fights with Education Cabinet Secretaries, the TSC and government. 

 Here are the recent events that escalated the tension between Sossion and TSC. 

  1. Union Membership, Transfers and Promotions

On July 5, 2019, Sossion clashed with TSC over school heads, their deputies, and departmental heads holding union leadership positions.

According to TSC, school heads were supposed to keep off the union affairs and remain focused on managing the institutions. However, KNUT insisted the heads had equal rights to vie for the union positions.

The dispute presented before the Employment and Labor Relations Court also included promotion and transfer of members’ turmoil between KNUT and TSC. The latter would later on agree to the promotions and transfers according to the code of regulations.

  1. Agreement Termination

On the 5th November 2019, the TSC terminated the 5-year old agreement with the union over its declining membership. Sossion threatened to lead a strike and kick out of office then TSC chairperson Lydia Nzomo and Chief Executive Nancy Macharia. 

This escalated the relationship between Sossion and the commission prompting TSC to de-register him as a teacher. 

Sossion dismissed the decision arguing that it was inconsequential. He insisted that he was still a bona fide KNUT leader and would not honour the punitive measure. 

  1. Salary Increments 

On July 22, 2020 Sossion picked a fight with TSC after it failed increase the salaries of over 100,000 teachers in line with the Ksh54 billion 2017-21 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). The CBA stipulated that TSC would promote 13,000 teachers based on career progression guidelines. 

The row widened after KNUT argued that TSC reintroduced old schemes of service it had abolished to block the teachers from getting the pay rise. 

The TSC commission officials remained silent on the issue, intensifying the battle with the KNUT officials.

KNUT Secretary-General Wilson Sossion addresses journalists in Nairobi on May, 16 2019

KNUT Secretary-General Wilson Sossion addresses journalists in Nairobi on May, 16 2019

File

  1. Rigging plan

On June 1, 2021, Soosion renewed his fight with the TSC claiming they were plotting to oust him out of office in the impeding union elections by financing rival officials.

He claimed TSC was undermining his fight for the welfare of teachers and only the tutors who elected him had the right to remove him from office. He insisted the union would not allow the commission to meddle in its affairs.

“The leadership and the workers can earn a salary and live decently and the union can organise itself. I will continue to honour the union and for the remaining 12th Parliament days, I shall dedicate myself to the National Assembly undivided. You may be seeing the politician in the making. 

“I have outgrown KNUT and should move fully to the political world. I will be representing teachers and all workers. We will shape conversations and good governance and representation of people in this country. You can be very sure I will be in Parliament during the 13th Parliament (after 2022 elections,” Sossion announced on Friday, June 25 

He urged the new leaders not to be compromised and respect the union’s core values. 





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