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State inches closer to deal with dons as UASU seeks Ruto’s intervention

“Basic salary has been increased by 16.5pc for professors and 19.5pc for assistant lecturers /tutorial fellows. UASU acknowledges some progress on this point,” Wasonga announced/CFM NEWS

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 8 – Public university lecturers are due to present a petition to the office of the Deputy President Wednesday, asking for the government to consider increasing their salaries by 40 per cent.

The move comes after closed-door meeting held on Tuesday between the University Staff Academic Union (UASU) and the Inter Public Universities Consultative Council Forum (IPUCCF) resolved to have deductions for the employer’s component of pension contributions removed from an initial offer of Sh10 billion which was tabled on February 10.

UASU had cited the inclusion of pension contributions as one of the reason they rejected the initial offer saying that it eroded the figure, leaving dons with an insignificant increment of only 3.2 and 1.6 per cent on salaries and house allowances.

The union instead proposed a 30 and 20 per cent increment on the two pay elements in a petition to Parliament, National Treasury and Ministry of Education on February 14.

UASU has however backed down on the demand to have house allowances factored into the 2013-2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) pleading instead for a 40 per cent increase on salaries.

“UASU appeals to the government, specifically H.E the Deputy President’s office to assist. We think a 40pc increment in harmony with other sectors would afford a speedy compromise to enable normalcy to immediately return to our universities,” UASU pleaded in a statement.

During the said meeting, the IPUCCF is said to have agreed to offer dons an average of 18 per cent salary increment, according to a statement released Tuesday night by UASU Secretary General Constantine Wasonga.

“Basic salary has been increased by 16.5pc for professors and 19.5pc for assistant lecturers /tutorial fellows. UASU acknowledges some progress on this point,” Wasonga announced.

Wasonga however said that the union was not comfortable with IPUCCF’s intention to use Sh4.8 billion allocated in the supplementary budget, urging instead for the said sum to be added to the Sh10 billion offer to further enhance salaries of lecturers.

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“It appears IPUCCF wants to use the Sh4.8 billion allocated in supplementary budget for employer pensions component. UASU argues that this amount should be added to the Sh10 billion to give academic staff a living wage,” he said.

The union also wants bases upon which the pay rise was calculated to be harmonised given that other public universities use a higher base compared to the one used in awarding the increase.

“A university such as Maasai Mara University has a higher base, so the increment is actually lower for some universities,” he pointed out.

In the new proposal, Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotels, Educational institutions, Hospital and Allied workers (KUDHEIHA) workers will get a 29.3, 41.92,and 23.1 per cent salary hike for the lowest, highest and average grade workers respectively.

The Kenya Universities Staff Union (KUSU) on the other hand will harvest 22.9, 19.8 and 21.2 per cent increase for the lowest, highest and average grade workers in band one.

KUSU’s band two workers are set to get 20.6, 18.1 and 19.5 per cent for lowest, highest and average cadres respectively.

The Sh10 billion will cater about 30,000 university staff, both teaching and non-teaching.

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