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University dons vow to take fight for pay rise to Matiangi’s doorstep

Matiangi in a statement Saturday said the industrial action was unnecessary as funds had already been wired to the concerned universities/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 5 – Public university dons are Thursday set to hold demonstrations to demand for the implementation of the 2013-2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement signed in March.

Universities Academic Staff Union (UASU) Secretary General Constantine Wasonga told Capital FM News Tuesday that dons will not take anything less than Sh6 billion, their share of the Sh10 billion CBA whose implementation was scheduled to commence on June 30.

“Our position as a union is that we never negotiated for part payments. UASU will only call off the strike once the Sh6 billion is paid in full,” Wasonga said.

“We will not renegotiate this CBA because that was concluded in March,” he added.

Wasonga said Kenya Universities Staff Union (KUSU) and Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotels, Educational and Allied (KUDHEA) workers union will also be joining the dons in the demos that will end up at Ministry of Education headquarters where they intend to seek audience with Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi.

“The strike is on and we shall be moving to demand for our money. On that day, all university employees we have a date with the CS. Already we have secured a permit and so the CS should know we’re coming,” he said.

The fresh strike by university workers started officially on Monday, following a notice issued on Saturday June 30, the date the CBA was to take effect.

READ: Lecturers back on the streets over unmet pay deal

The unions dismissed calls by the Education CS to halt the industrial action,” as the ministry has already wired Sh4.775 billion into the respective bank accounts of 31 public universities and colleges” according to Matiangi.

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While flagging off the strike Monday, KUSU Secretary General Charles Mukhwaya who was holding brief for Wasonga together with University of Nairobi UASU Chairperson Richard Bosire faulted the Ministry of Education for breaching the trust of university staff who negotiated to end a strike that lasted 54 days.

“In that agreement, there was one very clear and explicit clause. It stated clearly that the government and the employers (university councils) will pay all the money on or before 30 June, 2017. So why we gather here today is because the CBA was violated as far as the date of payment is concerned,” Mukhwaya said.

“When we negotiated, the government said that there was only Sh10 billion available and we said okay let us take the Sh10 billion. Now they want to tell us that they have sent Sh4.7 billion?” Bosire protested.

Speaking on Tuesday, UASU Chairperson Muga K’Olale warned the ministry against turning a deaf ear saying the dons will not relent in the struggle for payment of their dues.

“We’re not demanding more. We’re not demanding less. We’re only demanding for what we signed and registered at the labour relations court,” said K’Olale.

READ: Lecturers to resume work Tuesday as 54-day strike ends

If the CBA is implemented, lectures will take home a 17.5 and 3.9 per cent increment on basic salary and house allowances respectively.

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