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Joint Negotiations Committee in race to end lecturers strike

According to UASU’s Secretary General Constantine Wasonga, the committee will also evaluate the impact of the offer on the terms of service of university employees in a bid to harmonize disparities in the pay structure/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 10 – The Joint Negotiations Committee (JNC) constituted to spearhead discussions on the 2013-2017 lecturers’ Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) will meet Friday to evaluate the Sh10 billion offer by the government.

On Thursday, the JNC which comprises representatives from the Inter Public Universities Consultative Council Forum (IPUCCF), Universities Academic Staff Union (UASU), Kenya University Staff Association (KUSA) and Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotel, Educational and Allied (KUDHEA) workers union, resolved to form a technical sub-committee tasked with computing the impact of the government’s proposal on basic salaries and house allowances of all public universities’ staff.

According to UASU’s Secretary General Constantine Wasonga, the committee will also evaluate the impact of the offer on the terms of service of university employees in a bid to harmonize disparities in the pay structure.

“The joint negotiations committee re-convenes on Friday at 11 am to evaluate the impact, if any, of the counter-offer on the terms and conditions of service of varsity employees,” Wasonga said in a statement released on Thursday.

UASU however expressed concerns over the lack of a written commitment by the IPUCCF on the proposals made so far.

Proposals fronted by the IPUCCF include the inclusion of the employer’s (university councils’) component for contribution to employees’ (lecturers’) pension schemes in the Sh10 billion offer, and adjustments to salaries and house allowances for the period between 2013-2017.

Union officials however objected the inclusion of university council’s contributions to lecturers’ pension schemes in the Sh10 billion offer, which they said was contrary to their demands.

“As at today (Thursday) therefore, UASU has neither accepted nor rejected the IPUCCF’s proposal,” Wasonga’s said.

In late January, UASU’s University of Nairobi branch Chairperson Richard Bosire told Capital FM News that UASU’s proposals for the 2013-2017 would increase a monthly salary for an entry level lecturer from the current Sh50,000- Sh55,000 to about Sh200,000.

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“We have proposed that the lowest paid lecturer earns Sh195,000 with a professor earning Sh999,000 from Sh180,000 – Sh200,000,” Bosire said on January 19.

He further decried existing disparities in varsity pay structures, saying amending the differences was top on UASU’s agenda.

“One could be an entry level lecturer and earn the salary of a senior lecturer. One he is promoted to a senior lecturer, there is no incentive,” he said.

The strike entered its third week on Wednesday.

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