Prospects of the lecturer’s strike being called off is far from over, at least according to Universities Academic Staff Union (UASU) Secretary-General Constantine Wasonga who has insisted they will only go back to work after receiving money.
While speaking in Nakuru, Wasonga reiterated that they are not intending to call off the strike unless the National Executive Committee and the National Delegates Council decide otherwise.
“I wish to clarify that all public university lecturers are still on strike until the government meets our demands,” Dr. Wasonga said. Wasonga said universities’ management are not sincere because while on one side they want the strike to end, on the other hand, they have failed to meet the union leaders to iron out pending issues such as the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).
“There is a clause dealing with internal CBA for each and every university. It was supposed to have been signed by May. It is only five universities – University of Nairobi, Jkuat, Jaramogi, Kenyatta University and Pwani University that have signed internal CBAs, others are dodging,” said Dr. Wasonga.
The CBA which is the bone of contention was signed in March this year ending a 54-day strike that began on January 19 and the government released Sh10 billion for the payment of arrears in June but reverted to the old salaries after the funds ran out.
On Thursday, the government agreed to release Sh5.28 billion for the enhanced salaries and house allowances, a promise that prompted the Universities to demand that lecturers call off their one month strike.
Inter-Public Universities’ Councils Consultative Forum chairman Paul Kanyari lamented that activities in 31 public universities had been paralyzed. “The Ministry of Education is in the process of disbursing these funds to the respective bank accounts of all public universities,” said Prof Kanyari.
Meanwhile, the effects of the strike are biting hard with University of Nairobi rescheduling examinations to January while Kenyatta University, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), Pwani University, Masinde Muliro University closing after the strike paralyzed learning in the institutions.
This article was first published on Capital News, and written by Dannish Odongo.