NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 24 – The Salaries and Remunerations Commission (SRC) has dismissed claims by the Universities Academic Staff Union (UASU) that the formula employed by the commission in conducting the ongoing job evaluation exercise for lecturers and workers in research and tertiary institutions is defective.
SRC Communications Officer Ali Chege has said the use of the Paterson Model of evaluation will not in any way disadvantage the lecturers.
“We have given a very heavy factor on knowledge and research considering the influence from university or research institutions is more on the knowledge they disseminate to the country,” he told Capital FM News in a telephone interview on Friday.
Chege brushed off allegations by university staff unions that the process being undertaken by SRC in collaboration with Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) neglected other key roles of university dons such as research, consultancy and community service.
“It takes into consideration, the entire responsibility of a lecturer. But the biggest weight is given to knowledge,” he said adding : “PwC has tailored the Paterson Model to suite the universities and we’re calling it sapiential or knowledge based authority.”
He noted that the evaluation which begun in January and is expected to end in June will also address concerns raised by lecturers regarding salary disparities among university staff.
On Thursday, UASU Secretary General Constantine Wasonga discredited the evaluation saying it failed to take into consideration the entire scope of a lecturer’s job.
“The Paterson method evaluates level of decision making and responsibilities. In Universities we generate and disseminate knowledge. Paterson model is ill-suited for that. I have no idea how they want to evaluate the thinking process,” Wasonga told Capital FM.
Wasonga’s sentiments are also shared by UASU’s Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) Chapter Secretary General Peterson Hinga who said the evaluation process should be halted until a suitable method of evaluation is identified.
In a letter to the JKUAT’s Vice Chancellor dated February 23, Hinga called for the suspension of the appraisal exercise until the employer (University Council) and the employee represented by the union agree on factors to be considered in the assessment.
“After critical analysis of the tool being employed by the PwC on behalf of SRC, the union has unanimously agreed that the process should be stopped immediately as it does not take into consideration the factors that accurately access the worth of a university don,” Hinga wrote.
UASU together with the Kenya Universities Staff Academic (KUSA) have remained adamant on the negotiation, registration and implementation of a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) for the 2013-2017 cycle, before calling off the strike by university workers which begun on January 18
The two (UASU and KUSU) rejected a Sh 10 billion offer by the government, terming it as being inadequate, UASU saying it only amounted to a 3.2 and 1.6 per cent increase on the basic salary and house allowance respectively.
UASU instead proposed a 30 and 20 percent increment on the two perk components to call of the strike, a proposal that the Inter Public University Consultative Council Forum (IPUCCF) is yet to respond to since it was tabled to them on February 10.
Talks between the council and the unions through a Joint Negotiation Committee constituted following directives from the Ministry of Education have since collapsed.