Teachers withdraw from medical scheme


KNUT addressing the media
FILE PHOTO: KNUT addressing the media in a past event.
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The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) has announced its withdrawal from the Ksh 5.6 billion AON medical insurance scheme over alleged unfair treatment.

In a press briefing on Sunday, KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion said that its members have been unfairly treated compared to those of Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) whose medical allowances have been retained in addition to the regular deductions.

The union has also demanded a reimbursement of approximately Ksh 400 million deducted from its 210,000 members last month with the cost of abandoning the scheme being borne by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC).

The Ksh 5.6 billion medical insurance deal, which offers benefits to the principal member and four children, has previously received overwhelming supporting from KNUT though the recent discoveries seem to have turned the tide.

“We thus hereby abandon the AON medical scheme and demand that the commission forthwith releases the teachers to deal on their own schemes until unified terms are in place,” said Sossion.

Teachers vs teachers

The unified terms that KNUT is demanding are based on the fact that while the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) allowed Kuppet to retain 50 per cent of their medical allowance while the rest goes to their negotiated package with NHIF, July pay slips for KNUT members show that all their medical allowances, ranging between Ksh 1,000 to Ksh 4,000 had gone into the AON scheme as premium contribution.

Sossion claimed that the preferential treatment accorded to Kuppet is aimed at luring KNUT members to the rival union by making it attractive.

Sources within TSC, however, say a decision to retain medical allowance for Kuppet members was made following a court order issued two weeks ago.

Meanwhile, KNUT has vowed to call a nationwide strike if the 50 to 60 per cent pay rise awarded by the Labour Relations Court in June is not paid by the end of August.

“We would like to notify the government that if there will be no better pay by the end of August, teachers will not resume work,” Sossion warned.

The decision follows reports that TSC is planning to move to the Supreme Court to seek a reversal of the decision reached by the Court of Appeal sustaining the Labour Relations Court ruling until their appeal is heard.

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