15 April 2018

Kenya: Unions Clash Over Representative to Salaries Commission

Two labour groups are headed for a major clash over nomination of workers' representative to the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) after each submitted a name to the Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua for consideration.

The Central Organisation of Trade Union (Cotu) has submitted the name of John Matiang'i, who is the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) national treasurer, while Trade Union Congress of Kenya (TUC-Ke) has submitted the name of Charles Mukhwaya.

Knut is an affiliate of TUC-Ke, same as Kenya Universities Staff Union (Kusu) that is headed by Dr Mukhwaya and it was formed in 2014 to rival Cotu.

It was known as the Federation of Public Service Trade Unions of Kenya (Pusetu-K) before it was renamed TUC-ke and its launch was presided over by three Cabinet secretaries in a colourful event in Nairobi.COMPETENTThe trouble is that Mr Wilson Sossion, who is TUC-Ke secretary-general, recommended to Cotu the nomination of Mr Matiang'i, who is the brother to Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i while TUC-Ke chairman Tom Odege forwarded the name of Dr Mukhwaya as the congress' choice.

"We are pleased to inform you that Mr John Matiang'i is Cotu nominee to the commission, having emerged the best and the most qualified candidate out of the shortlisted candidates interviewed for the position," Cotu Secretary-General Francis Atwoli said in a letter dated March 8 to Mr Kinyua.

However, Mr Odege, who is also Nyatike MP, insisted that their choice is Dr Mukhwaya.

"TUC-Ke board settled on Dr Mukhwaya after competitive interviews," he said.

Mr Sossion insisted that Mr Matiang'i is the best choice for labour movement, saying workers can only have one representative.

On Wednesday, Knut National Executive Committee was informed on the nomination of Mr Matiang'i and if approved will be expected to resign from the union position.

TUC-Ke other affiliates include dock workers union and doctors union.


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