Kenya: Dons Set for Pay Raise After Court Approves Sh14 Billion Deal

22 January 2021

Public university lecturers have scored big after a court certified three collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) that cap their increased salaries and benefits at Sh13.8 billion.

Justice Maureen Onyango yesterday directed the Ministry of Education and the Treasury to provide an additional Sh5 billion for the implementation of the CBAs signed last year.

The judge agreed with the unions and the Inter-Public Universities Councils Consultative Forum (IPUCCF) that a Sh8.8 billion allocation recommended by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) was not sufficient to implement the CBAs.

The court said the computation by the implementation committee of the IPUCCF was accurate and that Sh8.8 billion was not sufficient "as it did not include the annual increments and the resultant pension liabilities payable by IPUCCF members on behalf of their staff".

Pension increments

Vide a judgment entered on July 3, 2020, Justice Onyango had registered the three CBAs signed by the Universities Academic Staff Union (Uasu), the Kenya Universities Staff Union (Kusu) and the Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotels, Education Institutions and Hospital Workers (Kudheiha) with the IPUCCF.

The judgment authorised the salary and pension increments covering the years 2017-2021 at a cost of Sh13.8 billion.

The figure had been arrived at through consultative meetings held by public universities and the unions on how to implement the CBAs.

The SRC, however, advised the National Treasury to release only Sh8.8 billion.

The unions, arguing that the figures did not add up, agreed in court to receive the Sh8.8 billion as they started fresh negotiations for the Sh5 billion difference.

Besides recommending the lower figure, the SRC also contested the retirement clause, saying it needed to be aligned with policy in the public sector for the various categories of public officers.

Budgetary allocation

The SRC further said the costing was above budgetary allocation and there would be challenges if it is implemented.

Lawyer Ruth Kirwa, who represented the universities, said although the employers had signed the CBA, some clauses in the CBAs needed to be reviewed, among them the retirement age and the implementation of the master scales, so as to fit them within the amount that had been allocated by the government.

The judge ruled that the CBAs signed and registered as well as the computation by the implementation committees of the universities were correct and based on the unaltered matrix as presented to the IPUCCF and the SRC.

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