NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 2 – A counter offer to the 2013-2017 lectures Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) is imminent after Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi called for the intervention of the National Treasury and the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC).
In a statement released Thursday by University Academic Staff Union (UASU) Secretary General, Dr Constantine Wasonga, the union said the Treasury and SRC were working on a counter proposal to pave way for the negotiation, signing, registration and implementation of the CBA.
“The CS made assurances that a team from SRC and Treasury is currently working on the counter-offer scenarios before giving the necessary advice; and that a counter-offer is therefore imminent,” read the statement.
On Friday last week, UASU’s National Executive Committee (NEC) rejected a request by the CS for education to suspend the strike until March 1, pending the resolution of the matter through a Joint Negotiations Committee (JNC) comprised of representatives from the IPUCCF and lectures unions which include Kenya University Staff Union (KUSU) and Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotel, Educational and Allied (KUDHEA) workers union.
Efforts by the IPUCCF to come up with an offer by Wednesday however failed to materialize as unions protested failure by the council to reach out to them as directed by the Ministry of Education.
“IPUCCF has communicated that there will be no negotiations and counter-offer today, despite the firm commitment of the CS of Education,” Wasonga lamented in a statement released Wednesday.
IPUCCF Chairperson Prof Ratemo Michieka however remained optimistic of a deal saying, ” the council was working towards resolving the issue.”
This assurances came amid the adjournment of a case between the IPUCCF and the union in which the council sought to challenge the legality of the strike.
In adjourning the case, Lady Justice Hellen Wasilwa of the Employment & Labour Relations Court urged the parties to speed up negotiations on the CBA before reporting back to the court by February 28.
UASU however blamed the SCR for failing to appear in court despite being party to the proceedings.
The intervention by Matiangi, comes as two public universities – Laikipia University and Karatina University – issued closure notices to students owing to the ongoing strike.