More than 32,000 staff in 38 public universities and constituent colleges have a reason to smile after the government finally released Sh6.6billion for payment of their salary arrears.
Doctor/lecturers in public universities will also benefit and get allowances awarded to them during the return-to-work formula signed between the Ministry of Health and the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) in 2017.
The budget for doctors' new allowances, which will benefit medical lecturers in Moi University, University of Nairobi, Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology, Masinde Muliro University , Maseno University among others which offer medical courses is exclusive of the Sh6.6 billion salary arrears.
University Education and Research Principal Secretary Simon Nabukwesi said the funds were released on Friday to universities and asked them to move with speed and ensure that their staff benefit.
"The funds will reflect in universities accounts this week," said Mr Nabukwesi as staff in universities demanded that the funds be paid together with this month's salaries.
The arrears allocated under CBA 2017/2021 is for payment of basic salary, annual increment, pension, and gratuity and associated taxes under national CBA 2017/2021.
Mr Nabukwesi asked universities to ensure that the funds are strictly applied to cater for CBA 2017/2021 and all statutory deductions must be remitted in accordance to the law and applicable procedures.
"Please acknowledge receipt of this letter and confirm payment of CBA arrears and remittance of all statutory deductions in accordance to applicable statutory regulations," said Mr Nabukwesi in a letter to all Vice-chancellors dated May 19.
The funds were approved by the National Assembly for 2019/2020 financial year supplementary II budget.
"The amount allocated by the National Assembly and approved by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) for 2017/2021 collective bargaining agreement (CBA) for University staff is Sh8.8 billion," said the PS in the letter.
He added that the National Treasury allocated Sh6.6billion under supplementary budget for payment of arrears for financials 2017/18, 2018/2019 and 2019/2020.
"The balance is Sh2.2 billion has been provided in the financial 2020/2021 to sustain the increased salary levels," said Mr Nabukwesi.
University of Nairobi with a staff population of 4,500 has been allocated Sh1.2 billion, Kenyatta University (Sh677 million), Moi University(Sh610 million), Jomo Kenyatta University of agriculture and technology (JKUAT) Sh547 million while Bomet University College got Sh11 million which is the lowest.
Universities joint negotiating team co-chaired by Universities academic staff union (Uasu) Vice- Chairman Joseph Mberia and Prof Joyce Mukoma is expected to meet this week to decide on implementation matrix.
"Together with the national implementation committee we will settle on the figure," said Mr Mberia adding that staff need the salaries before the end of the financial year.
He cautioned Vice-chancellors against diverting the money as had happened with the past CBAs.
The deal is part of the disputed Sh8.8 billion 2017-2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) signed between unions and universities management in October 2019.
Implementation was to start in November 2019 but was delayed due back and forth accusations as government budget had not factored the pay rise in its current budget.
The money will now cover salary debts from June 2017 to June this year.
The remaining Sh2.2 billion, which is yet to be approved for release, will cater for the CBA deal between 2010 and 2021, to complete the four year CBA cycle.
The money will benefit members of the University Academic Staff Union (Uasu), the Kenya University Staff Union (Kusu) and the Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotels, Educational Institutions Hospital and Allied (Kudheiha).
This is how the funds (CBA 2017/2021 arrears) have been distributed to universities
Technical University of Kenya (Sh320 million)
Technical university of Mombasa (Sh118 million)
University of Nairobi (Sh1.2 billion)
Koitalel Samoei university college (Sh5.2 million)
University of Embu (Sh88 million)
Kenyatta University (Sh677.9 million)
Machakos University (Sh96 million)
Egerton University (Sh396 million)
Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture, Science and Technology (Sh547.8 million)
Pan African University (-)
Kirinyaga University ( Sh41.5 million)
Muranga University (Sh51.3million)
Taita Taveta University (Sh42 million)
Co-operative University (Sh55.5 million)
Maseno University (Sh256.3 million)
Tom Mboya University college (Sh15.7 million)
Moi University (Sh610.8 million)
Gatundu University college (-)
Bomet University College (Sh11.8 million)
Garissa University (Sh30.4 million)
Rongo University (83.3 million)
Alupe University College (Sh16 million)
Masinde Muliro University (Sh206.9 million)
Kibabii University (Sh77.4 million)
Kaimosi University College (Sh34.5 million)
Turkana University College (Sh16.9million)
South Eastern Kenya University (Sh88.3 million)
Pwani University (Sh107.5 million)
Chuka University (Sh101 million)
Kisii University (Sh212 million)
Laikipia University (Sh89 million)
Dedan Kimathi University (Sh102.5 million)
Meru University (Sh75.6 million)
Multimedia University (Sh85.6 million)
Maasai Mara University (125 million)
University Kabianga (Sh100 million)
University of Eldoret (Sh253.4 million)
Karatina University (Sh84 million)
Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University (Sh143.7 million)
Tharaka University college (Sh15.5 million).