Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago has blamed the wrangles in Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) on ODM Leader Raila Odinga.
Mandago was addressing civil servants in the county on Thursday, January 14, 2021, when he highlighted that KNUT's downfall was as a result of Secretary-General Wilson Sossion's introduction to politics.
Mandago claimed he had warned Sossion against joining politics and dragging union matters, but he did not heed his advice.Uasin Gishu governor Jackson Mandago
The governor called out Raila for blaming the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) for the current challenges facing KNUT.
The ODM leader had written to TSC on January 7, raising concerns over the frustrations facing the teachers' union and its imminent death. He had warned that Kenyans would pay a high price should KNUT crumble and die.
"I want to tell Raila Odinga, that him and ODM killed KNUT. They are the ones who nominated Sossion to parliament. He earned two salaries, from KNUT and from Parliament, now the union is dying," Mandago stated.
In his address, Mandago urged teachers and medical practitioners to moderate their demands to the government, citing it as a key contributor to KNUT's downfall.
"Kenya National Union of Teachers was a giant. It was the union of our times. But I warned Sossion that it would collapse if they kept making demands to the government and didn't want to compromise anything. If the government makes you an offer, don't be rigid, at least negotiate. Now KNUT is dying," Mandago stated.
"Don't let unions lie to you. Unions are good, I am not saying you should get rid of unions in this country. Workers have rights, but we also want as employers to address legitimate complaints and rights, not exaggerated reports for a salary increase," he added.
Mandago's sentiments come after Raila attacked the TSC for frustrating KNUT at a time when schools have reopened, and as a result affecting the academic calendar.
The ODM leader had accused TSC of failing to honour its obligations of implementing the 2017-2021 Comprehensive Bargaining Agreement (CBA) as demanded by KNUT and sanctioned by the courts and Parliament.
“There are also no indications that TSC intends to pay the dues that have been denied members of KNUT. There is equally no indication that TSC will restore KNUT's membership register to its June 2019 status. TSC has shown no indication to gazette agency fee for KNUT in liaison with the Ministry of Labour,” Raila remarked.
“This standoff benefits no one in the long chain of education stakeholders. It does not benefit the teachers, the TSC, the pupils or even parents. In the long run, the absence of a strong and credible teachers' union will be extremely costly to the country, making the current efforts against KNUT deeply short-sighted,” he added.
The former prime minister urged KNUT and TSC to return to the negotiation table, go through the rulings of the court and resolutions of Parliament and begin a fresh journey of good faith that benefits both parties.ODM leader Raila Odinga and Nominated MP Wilson Sossion during a party in Bomet on Saturday, September 19.
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