16 February 2017

Kenya: Lecturers' Strike - Uasu Talks Resume Today

Photo: allafrica.com

University lecturers will on Thursday resume pay increase talks with the university management after rejecting Sh10billion that they had been offered by the government on Monday.

On Friday, non-teaching staff will also meet university councils negotiating team led by Prof Isaac Mbeche for talks aimed at ending the strike that has paralysed learning for four weeks now.

The government side is expecting give a better counter offer after university staff demanded that they will be ready to take 30percent basic salary increase per annual for four years and 20percent house allowance per annum for four years.

"We expect a new offer and not Sh10billion that we rejected on Monday. We will not negotiate in lump sum. It is a trick. After our analysis we discovered that Sh10billion was only 3.2percent increase in basic salary and Sh1.6percent increase in allowances. The rest Sh2billion was to go to pension scheme which was not part of our CBA," said Universities academic staff Union (Uasu) Secretary General Constantine Wasonga.

He accused the universities for trying to dupe them with documents that have not been approved by the National Treasury and Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC).

"We have also seen sudden increase in number of staff who were to benefit from the CBA from 23,000 to 30, 312," said Dr Wasonga and wondered how staff who were not part of the CBA could be lined up to benefit.

Kenya University staff union Secretary General Charles Mukhwaya said the government must show commitment in the talks saying they will not engage in further talks unless there is some seriousness.

"There seems to be games here. There are no letters of undertaking from government agencies," said Dr Mukhwaya.

"UASU empathizes with the more than 500,000 students whose academic programmes have been disrupted. However, it's the government to blame," said Dr Wasonga.

On Tuesday, University staff sought the intervention of Parliament with the National Assembly's Education Committee vice-chairman Julius Melly received their petition pledging to work towards resolving the matter.

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