, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 5 – The Trade Union Congress of Kenya (TUC-K) has thrown its weight behind the ongoing university lecturers and workers strike over the implementation of a Sh10 billion Collective Bargaining Agreement.
General Secretary Wilson Sossion accused universities of reneging on a duly signed agreement saying this will impact negatively on operations of the institutions.
“We hereby urge our members in the iniversities to remain firm, stand solidly together and sustain their strike and they can only resume
duty once there is an agreeable return to work formula based on one thing – total implementation of the CBA on the basis of Sh10 billion,” he stated.
He further alleged that Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi unilaterally changed the agreed CBA without involving the stakeholders.
“The Cabinet Secretary has blatantly violated and varied a mutually agreed CBA by directing that the same be implemented in phases. It is unprocedural, fatally inconceivable and overly unimaginable that the same CS now disowns a government offer of Sh10 billion to workers,” he stated.
While urging the government to immediately implement the pay deal as mutually agreed, he called on Matiangi to avoid dictatorial tactics.
“TUC-K urges the government to immediately implement the CBA as mutually agreed, embrace stakeholder participation in decision making. Who was involved in varying the award of Sh10 billion downward to Sh4 billion,” he stated.
He stated that TUC- Kenya was available and willing to play the part of an arbitrator in bringing the current impasse to an amicable conclusion.
The lecturers and workers on Tuesday rejected a fresh round of talks with their employer over the implementation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
This followed an invitation by the Inter-Public Universities Council Consultative Forum to the Universities Staff Academic Union (UASU), Kenya University Staff Union (KUSU) and Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotels, Educational Institutions, Hospitals and Allied (KUDHEIA) Workers for talks.
UASU Secretary General Constantine Wesonga said the union will not engage in any form of renegotiations and insisted that the CBA must be implemented in full.
He said that Education CS Matiangi had committed that the Sh10 billion was available and the union will not settle for less.
Wasonga stated that their focus has now shifted to the 2017-2021 collective bargaining agreement whose talks must start in September.
On Tuesday, Vice-Chancellors Committee chairman Francis Aduol said they were still optimistic that university staff would turn up for the talks.