This is a very important department of the organisation which helps in imparting knowledge and skills to both union leaders and rank and file membership.
Since its inception the department has been able to offer a variety of trade union courses such as :-
- Organisation and recruitment skills, courses
- Negotiations and collective bargaining skills courses
- Courses on research methodologies
- Courses on integrating gender issues into the mainstream trade union activities
- Courses on training of trainers who eventually become trainers at the affiliate and shoplevel
- Study cycle educational programs that target the membership at their respective workplaces
The Tom Mboya Labour College which is located in Kisumu some 500 kilometers from COTU (K) headquarters in Nairobi is an important and integral part of the education department. This college was built by workers contribution in form of a levy . In addition the American Federation of Labor – Central Industrial Organisation (AFL-CIO) assisted in the building of the college.
The college has all the capacity to offer various courses in trade union activities and its main purpose is to equip union leaders with skills so that they can effectively protect the rights and interests of workers in Kenya . The current leadership at COTU (K) is looking into ways of expanding the existing physical facilities. It is also envisaged that before the and of this year the college will be connected to the world via internet.
Currently the curriculum of the college is being reviewed with the aim of incorporating the emerging economic challenges facing workers .Issues of productivity and respect of fundamental International Labour Organization Conventions are also to be addressed in depth. Eventually it is hoped that the college would be able to offer Degree courses on trade union related education.
Some of the achievements of the education department are :-
- Equipping union leaders from the shoplevel upto the national level with organisation and recruitment skills.
- Equipping union leaders from the shoplevel upto the national level with modem collective bargaining agreement negotiations skills.
- Equipping union leaders from the shoplevel upto the national level with communication skills.
- Integrating of gender issues in trade unions and this has been evidenced by the establishment of women department in most of our affiliates. This departments have also been incorporated in the unions constitutions.
Many trainers in trade unions have been trained and they can now be used as facilitators in the various programs that we run for our affiliates.
COTU (K) PANAF STUDY CIRCLE EDUCATION
COTU (K) PANAF Study Circle Education Programme is a unique program as it is focused on training rank and file at the work places. This kind of Trade Union education is very important to the trade unions as it forms the basis of Trade Union leadership.
The aims and objectives of Panaf Programme are:
- 1. Promote Trade Union unity
- 2. Create capacity within Trade Union membership to participate effectively in National issues
- 3. Address the current challenges facing the Trade Union movement
COTU (K) PANAF Project was initiated by the International Confederation of Free Trade Union in the African Region, ICFTU-AFRO, Organisation of African Trade Union Unity, OATUU and LOTCO Sweden.
COTU (K) PANAF Project was launched in February 2005. The project in the year 2006, developed a Training Manual with a title COTU (K) Basic Training Manual for workers. The project is funded by LO/TCO-Sweden.