13 March 2017

Kenya: Lecturers to Resume Work Tuesday As 54-Day Strike Ends

Photo: Laban Walloga/Daily Nation
Technical University of Mombasa staff (file photo).

Nairobi — Lecturers in public universities will resume duty on Tuesday following the conclusion and signing of the 2013-2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

Universities Academic Staff Union (UASU) Secretary General Constantine Wasonga called off strike which has lasted 54 days, after the government through the Inter Public Universities Consultative Council Forum (IPUCCF) awarded lecturers a 17.5 and 3.9 per cent increment on basic salary and house allowances respectively.

"This afternoon (Monday) UASU and IPUCCF have mutually agreed and signed the 2013-2017 CBA. As a union we request our members to return back to work tomorrow and do it diligently," Wasonga told the press after signing the deal at a Nairobi hotel Monday.

According to the Secretary General, the increment will see academic staff in public universities benefit from arrears that have been accrued over the quadrennium covered by the CBA - July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2017 - with talks for the next CBA cycle set to begin forthwith so that it can be factored in the 2017/2018 budget.

The CBA also addresses intra and inter university salary disparities which existed prior to the signing of the deal.

Wasonga noted that academic staff in public universities including those in Maasai Mara University who were said to be earning five and four percent more in basic salary and house allowance will have equal pay.

"We agreed that now all academic staff are going to have equal pay and house allowance. We did harmonization and what remained of Sh10 billion we added to each and every lecturer equally so now we don't have salary disparities," Wasonga said accompanied by UASU Chairperson Muga K'olale.

Since the strike began at midnight on January 18, there has been intense lobbying between UASU and IPUCCF leading to adjournment of the negotiation process on several instances.

Early February, the union rejected a Sh10 billion offer by IPUCCF on grounds that it was inadequate and failed to harmonize salaries of dons.

The first offer by IPUCCF gave lecturers a 3.2 and 1.6pc increment on salary and house allowance but UASU turned it down asking instead to be awarded 30 and 20 per cent respectively on the two components.

Later, the union reviewed its demand to 40 per cent of basic salary alone, opting to forego an increment on house allowance.

The allocation of Sh4.8 billion to the Ministry of Education also introduced a new twist to the negotiations after the union demanded the inclusion of the money with IPUCCF lead negotiator Prof Isaac Mbeche insisting that the money was not meant for the lecturers.

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