Kenya varsity dons threaten strike

July 25, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 25 – Public Universities’ Lecturers have threatened to down their tools next month following the failure by the government to honour a salary increase deal.

Universities Academic Staff Union Chairman Sammy Kubasu complained on Saturday that despite a promise that their increases were factored in this year’s financial budget and would be paid this month Treasury had failed to honour that pledge. The union signed the deal with the government in June and the government had promised to effect the increases this July.

“We met with the Chairmen of the Universities’ councils who informed us that they have not received the cheques from the Ministry and as such they were not able to pay us the monies,” he said “You know the Universities can only pay us what they have been given.”

The salary deal in question is the 2008-2010 collective bargaining agreement. Under the deal the trainers would get 15 percent on basic salary and seven percent on house allowance.
The chairman said that the union’s executive council would meet in a week’s time to chart the way forward.

“We shall weigh all options available,” he said adding that the executive committee would be guided by the Union members. “We have really restrained from a strike action but if we are pushed by the government then we shall have no option.”

Prof Kubasu said the academic standards in the country risks deteriorating if lecturers go on strike. The government two years ago suspended 60 public Universities lecturers who had gone on a two months strike.

The government reneged from the 2006/08 CBA deal and went to court to protest strike action taken by the lecturers. However the industrial court awarded the 30 percent increases last September which the government honored last month.

“This time around members are very particular that they may not be patient this time as they were in the last deal,” Prof Kubasu said.

Under the CBA agreements the lecturers negotiate their perks after every two years. The Inter-Public University Councils Consultative Forum (IPUCCF) was representing the Government in the negotiations.

Currently, an Assistant lecturer earns a basic salary of between Sh36,510 and Sh52,122 while a lecturer earns between Sh43, 960 to Sh57,430. Senior lecturers earn a basic pay of between Sh48,870 to Sh65,267, while associate professors earn between Sh63, 199 to Sh81, 828.

The current salary of professors stands at between Sh67,336 and Sh96, 168. In addition to the basic pay, lecturers also earn a monthly house allowance ranging from Sh36, 536 for assistant lecturers, Sh43, 645 for lecturers, Sh46,500 for senior lecturers, Sh50,000 for associate professors and Sh53, 375 for professors.


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