NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 29 – University lecturers and workers have given the government until midnight to implement the 2013–2017 Sh10 billion Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) signed during negotiations, failure to which they will go on strike.
According to the Universities Academic Staff Union (UASU), the Kenya University Staff Union (KUSU) and Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotel, Educational and Allied workers Union (KUDHEA), the monies were supposed to cover basic salary, house allowance of all public servants represented by the Unions.
Secretary General Constantine Wesonga stated that no action has been taken and accused the government of being in violation of the CBA and Return to Work Formula.
“The government and University Councils are provoking university workers and I want to say the university workers are ready to go to any lengths to get the Sh10 billion,” he said.
“All along we have tried to be impartial. We have never even contemplated involving ourselves in politics. Howler, if you rattle us, we will rally our members against the government.”
He asserted that the government and university councils were provoking the lecturers to begin a new round of strikes.
“And this will be the grandmother of all strikes. Lecturers are more energetic and more determined than ever to fight for their dignity and constitutional rights,” he said.
“If the CBA is not implemented by close of business today, all university lecturers and professors in all Kenyan public universities shall withhold their services effective from tomorrow 1st July 2017 and the strike shall continue until the registered 2013-2017 CBA is fully implemented,” he declared.
His sentiments were echoed by the Kenya Universities Staff Union (KUSU) General Secretary Charles Mukhwaya who stated that all workers shall withhold their services should they not be paid as per the agreement.
“Now that that particular CBA has been violated, today being June 30, the government and the employer have as few hours to ensure that the money in its entirety is in the accounts of these workers. If not, I can assure you that the die is cast,” he said.
UASU Chairman Muga K’olale blamed the government fully for the resumption of the strike stating that this would impact the education sector negatively.
In February this year, the government offered Sh10 billion to cater for basic salaries and housing allowances adjustments for staff in public universities in a bid to end the ongoing lectures strike which had entered its third week.
The offer came even as Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi enlisted the help of the National Treasury and the Salaries and Remunerations Commission (SRC) after efforts to engage the unions by the IPUCCF under the leadership of Prof Ratemo Michieka failed to bear fruits.