NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 24 – The Universities’ Academic Staff Union (UASU) has dismissed claims that the national strike by lecturers has been called off after the Inter-Public University Council Consultative Forum (IPUCCF) offered them a three percent pay hike.
University of Nairobi branch Chairperson Dr Richard Bosire told Capital FM News Tuesday that the IPCCUF declined to address the question of the proposed 2013-2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) during a meeting with union officials on Monday, which is key among their grievances.
“They IPCCUF called our union officials to a negotiating table but nothing really happened,” he said adding; “They were throwing at us three percent.”
According to Bosire, the industrial action which begun on January 18 will continue as long as the IPCCUF engages the unions in “back and forth games to buy time” instead of giving counter proposals to the proposed 2013-2017 CBA.
“If someone is asking for a structured salary, then you come up with three percent, it amounts to contempt,” Bosire remarked. “Three percent of what? Of what we have proposed or our current earnings?”
He warned that the unions will not give up in their quest to have the CBA negotiated, signed and implemented, pleading with the Ministry of Education to intervene in the situation in order to give fresh impetus to stalled talks.
“We’re going to ensure that our rights are met. We only pray that our country’s leadership listens to us,” he said.
Since the strike begun on Wednesday, the IPUCCF which is composed of Chairpersons of University Councils has remained tight-lipped on the matter even as lectures’ unions continue accusing them of failing to facilitate negotiations since they submitted their proposals in 2013 upon the expiry of the 2010-2012 CBA.
The three: Universities’ Academic Staff Union (UASU), Kenya University Staff Union (KUSU) and Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotel, Educational and Allied (KUDHEA) workers union, have vowed to continue striking until they secure the 2013-2017 CBA cycle.
The next CBA cycle according to the unions will run between 2017 to 2021.