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Knut Wars: Sossion now backtracks on resignation threat

Kenya National Union of Teachers Secretary-General Wilson Sossion on Thursday backtracked on his threat to quit the organisation, a day after he hinted that he might resign.

Mr Sossion said he was in the union to stay.

In a WhatsApp message to union officials on Wednesday, Mr Sossion wrote: “Prepare my benefits up to December 31, 2015, for the period of service. I shall tender my resignation letter once in office.”

ENDORSE DEAL

Asked if he will endorse a deal struck at a State House meeting he did not attend, Mr Sossion said those who were present should speak to the media.

“Call the office, and talk to the people there. I am not allowed to make statements while on leave,” said the secretary-general.

The deal includes the payment of teachers’ September salaries, the withdrawal of all cases filed by the parties and a new four-year collective bargaining agreement to be agreed on within a month.

REMAIN UNITED

On Thursday, the Kenya Union of Post-Primary Teachers and the Central Organisation of Trade Unions called on Knut leaders to remain united and speak with one voice for the benefit of their members.

The dispute in Knut has been sparked by a salary deal struck at State House on Tuesday and is pitting Mr Sossion against six members of the union’s steering committee, led by chairman Mudzo Nzili.

Mr Sossion has also stayed out of office as his exchange with the six members continues. He boycotted the committee’s meeting on Wednesday.

ONE-MAN SHOW

However, Mr Nzili insists the secretary-general was called and briefed on the State House meeting.

“Union leadership is not a one-man show. It is about team work,” said Mr Nzili as he played down the rift.
He said he decided to go to State House because of teachers, whom he said were facing tough times due to a delay in payment of their salaries.

However, the State House visit seems to have lifted a lid on long-standing wrangles among the union leaders.