13 March 2014

Kenya: Varsity Lecturers Give Courts Zero

Photo: The Star
Striking university lecturers warned against defying court order (file photo).

Nairobi — The University Academic Staff Union (UASU) and Kenya Universities Staff Union (KUSU) have vowed not to honour any court order barring the ongoing strike until all issues they have raised are addressed.

They argue that they held a constitutional right to go on strike, saying they had been left with no option other than to boycott duties over what they termed as misappropriation of funds by Vice-Chancellors.

UASU Secretary General Muga Kolale complained that the Industrial Court was being used to intimidate them despite their concerns being genuine.

Addressing journalists on Wednesday in Nairobi, Kolale asked the government to instead expose corrupt officials within public universities, whom he accused of causing the strike.

“We shall remain united and firm as we navigate the processes of ensuring that the CBA is fully implemented,” he declared.

“I would like to castigate the misuse of courts in this country. Once again the courts are being used to intimidate the universities workers to ensure that their rights are not realisable and protected; it is erroneous, unethical, unprofessional and unacceptable.”

He said the strike was as per the law while saying, “We have no business in court.”

Though ready for dialogue, he said they would not negotiate on any other terms other than the Sh7.8 billion Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) signed in 2012.

“We are ready for negotiations any time…and the negotiation will focus on the implementation of the CBA,” he affirmed.

“It is our position that the CBA agreement has been flawed terribly and in order for justice to be visited on the university staff it must be implemented immediately.”

To entirely deal with the problem in the universities, Kolale asked the government to “expose the corruption in these institutions.”
KUSU Secretary General, Charles Mukhwaya asked the union members to paralyse all activities in all the 31 public universities.

“We have done our bit; we have given universities enough time talking with them and giving them an opportunity to consult with us and nothing is coming through,” he complained.

“Our members should continue soldering on until they get what belongs to them; courts or no courts, the rights of Kenyans must be upheld,” he said.

The strike has also received backing from the Public Servants Trade Unions (PUSETU).

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