Factors influencing teachers choice of labour unions in public secondary schools in Homabay district, Kenya
The objectives of the study sought to determine the extent to which choice of labour unions is influenced by subscription fee charged by the teachers’ unions’, the economic conditions, group pressure among teachers and the leadership of respective unions The target population consisted of 30 public secondary schools that are 24 mixed schools, 3 boys’ schools and 3 girls’ schools. The total population included 800 teachers which was inclusive of teachers belonging to either Kenya National Union of Teachers or Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers and also teachers who are not unionized and are yet to join either of the unions. The data was gathered using questionnaires administered to 240 teachers in public secondary schools in Homa-Bay District. Out of these, 200 questionnaires were filled and returned, representing 82.2 percent return rate. Both descriptive and content analyses were used in the data analysis. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences was used to tabulate the data in terms of working means, standard deviations and percentages to answer the research questions thereby addressing the objectives of the study. The study revealed that the 6 percent who are yet to join teachers union are considering joining KUPPET because of the slightly lower membership and monthly subscription fee, whereas peer pressure from colleagues was a reason why majority 67 percent of the ununionized teachers are considering joining KNUT. The study found that teachers’ economic conditions and union leadership influence teachers’ choice of labour unions. The study concluded that leadership of unions, peer pressure from colleagues and the high union subscription fee and economic condition of teachers influences teachers’ choice of labour union. Based on membership fee and choice of teachers union the study recommended that teachers unions’ membership fee should be affordable so as teachers who are yet to join can register as members. This will have an effect on trade union density and members’ commitment to the unions’ objectives and strategies. This study recommends that another study should be carried out in other districts to establish whether similar results will be obtained. Further the study recommends that it is important to analyze the leadership style employed by the union leaders as they (leadership styles) have the potential of influencing the ununionized teachers to join a particular union or not.