17 May 2018

Kenya: Uasu Sues Universities Over Members' Deductions

The Universities Academic Staff Union (Uasu) has sued four public universities for not remitting Sh52 million union dues deducted from members.

Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), University of Nairobi (UoN) and Moi University have not remitted the money for four months (January to April this year), while the Technical University of Kenya (TUK) has been holding on to the cash for four years.

JKUAT is holding Sh11 million, UoN Sh10 million, Moi University six million and TUK Sh25 million

Uasu lawyer Titus Koceyo urged the Employment and Labour Relations Court (ELRC) to order the universities to release the money immediately.

He said that by not remitting the money to the Barclays Bank account as gazetted by former Cabinet Secretary for Labour Kazungu Kambi, the universities have breached Section 10 of the Labour Relations Act 2007, which requires all dues recovered from members remitted within 10 days.

FLOUTING RULES

Mr Koceyo said Uasu had sought the court's intervention because, despite reminders to the respondents, they had not remitted the money.

He told the court that by flouting the rules, the universities have made the union's work difficult.

Uasu pointed out that it has signed various collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) from time to time with the respondents in accordance with the constitution and the Labour Relations Act over the remuneration of its members.

"The respondents have failed to remit to the plaintiff's account the members' monthly union dues/subscriptions and agency fees, which they have already deducted from its (Uasu) members," Uasu Secretary-General Constantine Wasonga says in the court papers.

TRADE UNIONS

The Registrar of Trade Unions, Ms Elizabeth Gicheha, in a letter to all vice-chancellors/principals of Uasu constituent colleges, told them to remit dues deducted from members to a specified account in accordance with the provisions of Section 48(2)(b) of the Labour Relations Act.

Mr Wasonga says that in 2011, Labour CS Kambi gazetted that all Uasu union dues deducted from members employed in public universities be remitted to its account at the Barclays Bank of Kenya Limited within 10 days.

Dr Wasonga says that failure by the respondents to remit the dues has hampered their smooth operations.

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