NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 1 – The Inter Public University Consultative Council Forum (IPUCCF) is racing against time to craft a counter proposal to the 2013-2017 lectures’ Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) after Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi intervened to have the lectures strike which enters its second week Thursday, come to an end.
According to IPUCCF Chairperson Prof Ratemo Michieka, the council composed of University Council chairpersons is expected to come up with counter proposals as ordered by Matiangi on Monday, after the University Academic Staff Union (UASU) declined a request by the CS to suspend the strike for a month to give room for negotiations.
“We are working towards resolving the issue,” Michieka told Capital FM on Wednesday.
In declining a request by the CS to suspend the strike until March 1, UASU Secretary General Constantine Wasonga told the press on Friday last week that the National Executive Committee (NEC) was not willing suspend the strike without a counter offer from the IPUCCF.
“The NEC has rejected the statement of intention by the government,” he said accompanied by union officials adding, “They have voted that the strike continues until the 2013-2017 CBA is negotiated, signed, registered and implemented.”
UASU had rejected an earlier proposal by the IPUCCF to grant them a three per cent pay increase terming it as insufficient and amounting to treating the lecturers with contempt.
“Dons do not eat statements of intentions,” Wasonga said after last week’s NEC meeting. “We want CBA, a reasonable counter offer. If you think we’re going to call off the strike with a paltry 3 percent the forget it.”
Wednesday’s meeting comes as Justice Hellen Wasilwa of the Employment and Labour Relations Court adjourned a case filed by the IPUCCF and the Federation of Kenya Employers on January 18 to pave way for negotiations.