, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 7 – University lecturers and non-teaching staff have rejected a 0.5 percent pay increase offer by the government, terming it as immoral.
Speaking during a press conference on Friday, the Universities Academic Staff Union (UASU) National Secretary General Muga K’ólale said the offer which did not award them any house allowance is aimed at demoralising staff.
He pointed out that this is unreasonable as Vice Chancellors were recently awarded a 400 percent pay increase.
“While the same government has given a certain cadre of the University Staff a 400 percent pay rise, in its own wisdom, it also thinks that it can give the rest of the staff a 0.5 percent pay rise and zero percent house allowance. This shows that gross injustices, unfairness and blatant violation of our constitutional rights shall prevail,” he said.
The Universities Non-Teaching Staff Union Secretary General Charles Mukhwaya echoed his sentiments saying the counter offer showed the nonchalant attitude the government had for the workers.
“We got this counter offer last night slipped under our office door. But as much as we are going to engage them on the table, it is not lost on us and we would like the public to know that it is an insult in this day and age to give a professor working in our universities and the rest of the professionals a 0.5 increase in salary increase on their current pay,” he stated.
UASU National Chairman Sammy Kubasu indicated that though they will be attending a negotiations meeting convened on Monday next week, lecturers will remain on strike until the government makes a reasonable offer on their demands.
“A 0.5 percent rise means a Sh14 increase per month and this will be paid in 2013. A percent is a fraction of a hundred and a zero percent does not exist. So when somebody gives you a zero percent increase, he is giving you a non-existent figure and the government should know that,” he said.
The counter proposal signed by the Inter-Public Universities Councils Consultative Forum (IPUCCF) Negotiations Committee chairman Peter Mbithi stated that negotiations can only be on Basic Salaries and House Allowances.
“The basic monthly salaries in Kenya shillings shall be increased to the respective ranks of the academic staff members of the Public Universities at the rate of 0.5 percent. The Master Scale and the Conversion Tables will be jointly determined by both parties and inserted in the final agreement,” it stated in part.
It further said, “House allowance shall be increased to the respective ranks of the academic staff members of the public universities at the rate of 0%.”
Lecturers in public universities and colleges embarked on a nationwide strike on Thursday, joining teachers and doctors who have been on strike since Monday.