15 March 2018

Kenya: CS Mohamed Blames Varsities for Protracted Lecturers' Strike

Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed on Thursday turned the heat on university managements, blaming them for delays in resolving the ongoing strike as they had failed to present crucial payroll data of their staff in time for action.

Ms Mohamed told Parliament's Education Committee chaired by Malava MP Malulu Injendi that it is only 15 out of 31 universities that have submitted to the Ministry of Education payroll data for analysis by the National Treasury.

The CS maintained that a counter-offer will only come after the scrutiny of the data, noting that the government is not ready to give any figure for payment of salaries without being backed by facts.

"The payroll data would inform decision-making. The process is ongoing and, once completed, the counter-offer will be communicated to the universities to kick-start the negotiations once again," the CS told the committee.

JOB EVALUATION

Ms Mohamed added that the case in court by university staff on job evaluation has also hampered the finalisation of job evaluation and, therefore, denied the Salaries and Remuneration Commission an opportunity to advise on an appropriate counter-offer to staff.

The latest development means that the strike that started on March 1 could drag on until all universities submit the data as the staff insist that they will only call off the strike after seeing an offer for 2017-2021 CBA.

During the meeting, Ms Mohamed admitted that some universities had failed to follow guidelines on submission of the payroll data.

AUDIT

Ms Mohamed also ordered an audit on use of various funds allocated to universities across the country, among them Sh10 billion for 2013-2017 CBA, saying she was worried that they were not being put into proper use.

"There is a bigger problem and my visit to Meru University recently was an eye opener," the CS, who admitted that the government was also yet to release Sh2 billion for pension of retired staff since 2010, said.

Ms Mohamed said the university sector is facing various challenges, ranging from poor management to deteriorating education standards.

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