Knut Secretary-General Wilson Sossion.
The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has finally deregistered Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) Secretary General Wilson Sossion.
TSC removed Mr Sossion from its list of teachers on Monday following last week’s ruling by the Labour court that allowed the commission to kick out Knut as a teacher after he joined politics as an ODM nominated.
Mr Sossion immediately dismissed the move as inconsequential.
“The deregistration changes nothing,” said Mr Sossion. He cited Article 34 (A) of the Labour Relations Act, saying the termination of his contract did not affect his rights as a union official.
“I technically could not retire because I was under 50 years. Many of our secretaries who have tried elective positions are living examples,” he said, and warned that “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. Furthermore, a General Secretary of a Union as per the labour relations act does not necessarily have to be trained in that trade.”
TSC had been allowed to proceed with the process of de-registering Sossion as a teacher following his entry into politics, when he was nominated to the National Assembly by the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) that is associated to Raila Odinga.
This is after the Employment and Labour Relations Judge Nelson Abuodha dismissed Sossion’s case challenging the January 17th, 2017 decision by the Commission to have him axed from the register maintaining that the case lacked merit.
Further, Abuodha ruled that Section 16 of the Teachers Code of Conduct and Ethics (2015) requires a teacher to maintain political neutrality at all times and shall not act in a manner that may compromise or be perceived to compromise his or her neutrality.
“The acceptance of the nomination to National Assembly by ODM obviously put Sossion on a partisan political activity. It was a manifestation of an agreement to support ODM agenda both in and outside parliament,” he said.
The judge noted that the move was inconsistent with his contractual obligations to TSC as a teacher since the relationship he had with TSC was contractual and could be terminated by either party for lawful reasons.
“TSC has ably demonstrated that Sossion’s association and acceptance of nomination as a Member of Parliament on ODM party ticket went against its tenets as an institution in charge of regulations and discipline of those in teaching service,” he stated.
The judge pointed out that provisions of the Public Officer Ethics Act clearly show that Sossion’s act of accepting nomination to parliament on the ODM party ticket contravened the outlined provisions.