The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) says Wilson Sossion has not been removed from the position of Secretary General following the Employment and Labour Relations Court ruling, upholding Teachers Service Commission’s deregistration of Sossion as a teacher.
In a statement Friday, National Chairman KNUT Wycliffe Etole Omuchey says Sossion will continue serving as the Secretary General of KNUT following an agreement with TSC and the Registrar of Trade Unions.
The TSC, the Registrar of Trade Unions and KNUT had earlier appeared before the Employment and Labour Relations Court Judge, Maureen Onyango and agreed that Sossion continues serving as the KNUT Secretary General.
The tripartite agreement was deposited in the Employment and Labour Relations Court.
Therefore accordning to Omuchey, the Friday court ruling by Justice Nelson Abuodha does not affect Hon. Sossion’s position at KNUT.
“It should be noted that while Justice Abuodha was delivering the ruling, he categorically stated that as far as TSC was concerned, the release of Hon. Sossion from active teaching was to enable him to focus more on KNUT activities which exclusively concerned teachers’ affairs.” He said.
Adding that it should also be understood that Article 31(4)(a) of the Labour Relations Act states that the General Secretary of a Trade Union or the Chief Executive or Association Secretary of an employers’ organization may be a person not engaged or employed in the sector concerned.
He said that however, KNUT was scrutinizing the Court Ruling with a view of instituting an Appeal.
“Therefore, it should NOT be misinterpreted that Hon. Sossion has ceased being the Secretary General of the giant teachers’ Union. Furtherance to this, during the Annual Delegates Conference (ADC), delegates unanimously endorsed Hon. Sossion to continue serving as Nominated Member of Parliament and the same time remain the Secretary-General of Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT).” He added.
On his part Sossion says the matter under contestation has exclusively been on employment contract and not registration.
“It has come to my attention that a lot of misinformation is being peddled with regard to the ruling made on Friday 26″ July, 2019 by the Employment and Labour Relations Court, with respect to my relationship with the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) on employment contract. I am in the Commission register as a registered teacher. TSC merely terminated my employment with them as they do to anyone seeking elective public position.” He said.
He added that many people in elective union positions have terminated their employment with TSC by resigning or retiring but continue to retain union offices.
“I technically could not retire because I am under 50 years of age. Our Executive Secretaries are living examples — they continue to retain their offices. Any termination of employment of a full time elected Union official SHALL NOT affect his/her rights in the Union as per our terms of service.” He added.
Furthermore he noted, a Secretary General of a Union as per Article 31(4)(a) of the Labour Relations Act does not necessarily have to be a person engaged or employed in the sector concerned quoting “the General Secretary of a trade Union or the Chief Executive Officer or Association Secretary of an employers’ organization may be a person not engaged or employed in the sector concerned.”
He therefore says the termination of employment is only as a contract between him and the employer, and does not in any way affect his role as Secretary General of the KNUT.
“Furtherance to this, my name still remains in the Register of Teachers. I therefore call on all-and-sundry to ignore the misinformation being peddled around.” He said.