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The Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers, Kuppet, has successfully thwarted efforts by Technical and Vocational tutors to register their own union. The registrar of trade union in its rejection notice said that the tutors are well represented under Kuppet.
“It is notified that the registration of KENYA UNION OF TECHNICAL AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION TRAINERS as a trade union under the Labour Relations Act is refused,” reads a memo from Mrs E.N Gicheha who is the Registrar of Trade Unions.

According to Gicheha, the grounds of refusal for the Union’s registration are as follows:
“The cadre of trainers sought to be represented being all trainers/teachers in vocational tertiary institutions faling under the Technical and Vocational Education Training Authority (TVET) under the Technical and Vocational Education
and Training Act, 2013, are already represented by the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET).”

Technical and Vocal Tutors still under TSC

The Court in March this year reversed the move to transfer the Technical Training function from the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to the Ministry of Education. The tutors wanted to capitalize on the transfer to register their own union.

‘Under its registered constitution, KUPPET
represents teachers/trainers in secondary and tertiary institutions. The National Labour Board, while considering this application, noted that the Circular Ref. TSC/ADM/192A/Vol. IX/47 dated 27h July, 2018 which transferred the Technical Training function from the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology thus, transferring the lecturers in polytechnics, technical institutions and vocational training institutions from TSC to
the Public Service Commission (PSC) was nullified by the Court in ELRC Petition 97 of 2018 at Nairobi, in the Ruling delivered on 1st March, 2019 and was declared unconstitutional. This effectively reversed the Circular and placed the mandate over all cadre of teachers in terms of employment and other administration issues under the Teachers Service Commission, thus restoring the status quo of the trainers to their position before the said Circular,” Gicheha adds.

It is noted that the envisaged transfer of trainers under TVET is what prompted the application for the union as the trainers would fall under the Public Service Commission.

This ruling means that the TVET tutors will still be under Kuppet.

“The proposed sector of coverage is thus, well and sufficiently represented by KUPPET. Under the provisions of Section 14(1)(d) of the Labour Relations Act, a trade union may apply for registration if no other trade union already registered, is sufficiently representative of the whole or a substantial proportion of the interests in respect of which the applicants seek registration,” the Registrar rules.

Kuppet draws its membership from Secondary and Vocational & Technical Education teachers while the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) has majority of members from Primary schools and a few from Secondary schools. As at 2018 August, Knut had a total membership of 188,765 teachers.