, NAIROBI, Kenya, August 3 – University lecturers and staff have now called off their planned strike after the government agreed to release Sh3.9 billion to pay their salaries and house allowances by Thursday next week.
Education Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi announced the decision on Friday night after holding a consultative meeting with officials of the University Academic Staff Union (UASU) and the Inter-Public Universities Councils Consultative Forum (IPUCCF).
The funds are part of the Sh7.8 billion that was committed to pay the allowances of public university staff under the collective Bargaining Agreement signed last year.
“Following the developments, the union officials have agreed to call off the strike notice that was to take effect as from Monday 5th, 2013,” a statement from the Education Ministry said.
It further pointed out that the resolution will be passed on to all members of the University Unions.
“The officials pledged to communicate the new development to members assuring them of Government decision to release Kshs3.9Billion towards payment of their salaries and allowances that arose under the CBA signed on 20th September, 2013,” the statement added.
UASU had wanted the government to pay their salaries as negotiated and agreed in two phases, or else they boycott teaching.
It accused the government of illegally introducing a 3rd phase without consulting with the various unions representing university lecturers and staff.
Secretary General Muga K’olale had warned that they will down boycott teaching if the government failed to deliver the remaining amount of Sh3.9 billion in the second phase by Monday.
“In the event there is miscarriage of justice… in the event that the government manufactures propaganda and lies to explain itself, we shall respond in the most articulated and respected ways to mitigate this from happening,” he had said.
Kolale stated that they will not embark on negotiations again saying the government had committed itself to pay the Sh7.8 billion agreed in two phases.
He asked the government to demonstrate fidelity to the rule of law by paying them without any further delay.
He also urged the government to improve the working conditions of workers in the education sector for them to deliver quality services.