Kenya: Dons Ask Varsities to Harmonise Pay While Implementing CBA

Lecturers have asked public universities to harmonise their salaries while implementing the 2017-2021 collective bargaining agreement (CBA) and make it more transparent.

The Universities Academic Staff Union (Uasu) Secretary-General Constantine Wasonga said many public universities have taken advantage of horizontal implementation to pay workers the least possible compensation.

"Many public universities have unfairly denied employees promotions and annual increments," he said.

On Thursday, Uasu officials met the Principal Secretary for University Education and Research Simon Nabukwesi and the chairman of the Vice Chancellors' Committee Prof Geoffrey Muluvi and agreed to convene the national implementation committee (NIC) to monitor, evaluate and harmonise the implementation.

NON-TRANSPARENT IMPLEMENTATION

Dr Wasonga said public universities are implementing the CBAs in a non-transparent manner.

He said the implementation is characterised by pay distortions, reduced salaries for some academic staff, freezing of promotions and lack of uniformity of pay for staff in same grades among others.

Further, he said public universities have paid academic staff who were in same grades and notches in the base year of 2016/2017 and with identical pay progression and different arrears.

"Many public universities have taken advantage of horizontal implementation to pay workers the least possible compensation," he said.

At the same time, the Kenya Universities Staff Union (Kusu) has also written to Prof Muluvi asking him to engage vice-chancellors and ensure salaries are harmonised.

"Kindly be informed that the horizontal payment will be unfair since it will result into denying employees their entitlement of automatic annual increments that they have enjoyed in the last four years," said Kusu Secretary-General Charles Mukwaya in a letter dated July 27.

PAYROLL DISHARMONY

Dr Mukwaya said the ongoing disharmonised payments in universities will worsen basic salary disparities and reintroduce payroll disharmony.

Kusu has accused public universities of ignoring the national joint implementation committee and unliterary planned to pay employees new basic salaries in the month of July.

Early this month, the university workers won a court case that was challenging the CBA.

Justice Maureen Onyango asked the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) to ensure implementation of the CBA based on the allocated amount of Sh8.8 billion

The pay increase has been pending since November 2019 due to a row with the SRC.

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha had in January promised the lecturers and non-teaching staff that the funds will be released in March or April.

He had said that Sh6.6 billion was to be factored in this year's supplementary budget for the sos7-2021 CBA while the remaining Sh2.2 billing will be factored in the 2020/2021 budget.

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