The government has bowed to pressure from lecturers to have their collective bargaining agreement (CBA) implemented in four phases effective July 1, 2017.
The revised counter-offer, which will cost Sh7 billion, was on Monday presented to Universities Academic Staff Union (Uasu) by the Inter-Public Universities Council Consultative Forum.
An additional Sh1.8 billion will go towards staff pension. The government had initially put the pay hike in two phases effective July 2019 but lecturers rejected the offer, forcing universities to go back to the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) for further advice.
"We have received the offer. It's now in four phases. We will study it then meet on Wednesday to provide feedback to universities," said Uasu Secretary-General Constantine Wasonga.
The Sh7 billion will be shared among the 27,000 staff of public universities including 9,000 lecturers.
On Monday, SRC Chairperson Lyn Mengich explained that their role is to advise the employer and not employees.
"As a commission, we are only mandated to advise and as far as the CBA is involved; we advise the employer, who is the Education ministry, on the parameters for negotiations. We cannot contradict our own advisory," she said.
"We do not do negotiations with the unions or teams formed by unions," she added.
The commission also explained that the need for a pay increment for lecturers has never been a dispute, stating that the delay for the issuance of the pay parameters was due to lack of commissioners.
However, Ms Mengich said the parameters of the negotiation have now been set based on the job evaluation report.
"At no point did the commission do a job evaluation that lumped up academic and non-academic staff together. We have already released the job evaluation report and it is the basis upon which the salaries structure has been issued," she added.
Under the new CBA, university staff are supposed to get a salary increment of between 5.75 to 6.27 per cent annually for the period of 2017-2021.
The total figure sums up to Sh8.8 billion for all public universities, including their pension. "The new basic salary structure covers a four-year CBA for the period 2017-2021 and is aligned with implementation of job evaluation results for public universities. The new basic salary is to be implemented in four equal phases consistent with the CBA cycle," a letter by SRC chief executive Ann Gitau dated September 30 says.
Ms Mengich noted that the Sh8.8 billion figure is exclusive of the four per cent average annual drift, which is the automatic annual increment and is dependent on the level of an individual's job scale.
"This therefore means that lectures will get an average of nine per cent annual pay rise," she said.