Kenya: Pan Africa Christian University Announces 80% Pay Cut

Pan Africa Christian University has announced a pay cut of 80 per cent for its staff effective May to August due to coronavirus, which it says, has affected its revenue collection.

The institution joins a number of private and public universities that have announced pay cut for its staff following the closure of the institutions in March.

55 PER CENT

A pay cut of between 20 per cent and 55 per cent for the month of April saw the institution save Sh3.1million.

"The unpaid April 2020, salaries shall be deferred for further review as normalcy returns. All part of salary that remain unpaid for May through August 2020 is not considered for deferral," said Vice-Chancellor Prof Margaret Muthwili in a memo to staff dated May 3.

She went on: "Since administrative staff who are not able to join in the teaching staff in May-August, trimester will be assigned minimum workload, they will be paid a 20 per cent of salary each month in this period."

The vice-chancellor said every member of staff will be required to sign acceptance letter.

"Every employee will have the choice to indicate; their willingness to work under the terms and circumstances laid out," said Prof Muthwili adding that the intervention will be reviewed continuously.

The university has also suspended recruitment of new staff until the end of December 2020 as well as payment of leave allowances.

"All requests for increment, promotions and salary adjustment is suspended until normalcy returns. Pension to continue to be paid at the basic pay applicable per month from April to December 2020," said the Vice-Chancellor.

She said the decision on pay cut was arrived at after council meeting to help the institution manage its activities due to coronavirus pandemic.

Private Universities Staff Workers Union Secretary-General Peter Owiti said several private universities have announced pay cuts for their staff.

"Private universities should look at ways of sustaining their staff because they will still need them after this pandemic and therefore it's unfair to mistreat them," said Mr Owiti.

SALARY REDUCTIONS

He said universities should look beyond payment of fees by learners as the only source of income.

Egerton and Kisii universities announced salary reductions of 30-40 per cent on the grounds that they have not received money from the National Treasury.

Egerton University Vice-Chancellor Rose Mwonya said the institution is not able to generate enough funds. Kisii University also announced a 40 per cent reduction in pay, saying it has a deficit of Sh56 million. Maseno University has asked employees to take voluntary pay cuts from this month.

At Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology, employees whose services are classified as non-essential have been told to take leave until the virus is contained.

Kenyatta University also announced suspension of payment of salaries to staff on contract due to decline in revenue collection due to corona virus which has paralysed services in the institutions.

Universities Academic Staff Union (Uasu) Vice-Chairman Joseph Mberia warned higher learning institutions against deducting staff salaries.

"The government releases funds for staff salaries in full, we wonder why universities are now paying their staff half salaries," said Mr Mberia.

He said staff have loans obligations and therefore it is unfair for universities to pay them half salaries saying the move has demoralised staff in universities and colleges.

He said staff in universities just like other workers in the country are going through hard financial times and therefore it is unfair to deny them their salaries or reduce it.

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