, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 1 – The University Academic Staff Union (UASU) has issued an ultimatum to the government to table a counter offer in the 2017-2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) talks by February 12 failure to which it will call for a strike.
In a statement, the Union’s Secretary General Constantine Wasonga said that the deadline for concluding the CBA negotiations expired and expressed disappointment over the lack of progress in the talks.
“As we speak, IPUCCF and the Government have not given UASU a counter-offer. UASU has been a committed and an active partner in the Joint Negotiations Committee (JNC) and it is the universities councils and Government who are responsible for the impasse,” he said.
“In the Return to Work Formula signed by IPUCCF and UASU on 13th March 2017, the parties agreed that the 2017- 2021 CBA negotiations be concluded by 31st May 2017 to allow for implementation by 1st July 2017. To meet the deadline, UASU presented its 2017-2021 CBA proposal in March 2017.”
He stated that the union has been a committed and an active partner in the Joint Negotiations Committee and it is the universities councils and Government who are responsible for the impasse.
“IPUCCF and the Government did not give any counter-offer, and were unable to meet the May 31, 2017 deadline; showing flexibility, the union gave the universities councils more time to prepare for negotiations. IPUCCF and Government missed the key date of July 1, 2017 blaming preparation for the General Election,” he stated.
He said that the union has also agreed to grant IPUCCF the additional time it requires to consult with the new leadership of the Ministry of Education.
“UASU also declares its readiness to work with Cabinet Secretary Ambassador Amina Mohamed and Principal Secretary Japhet Micheni Ntiba to strengthen quality higher education and to meet the expectations of universities academic staff,” he said.
He stated that there may be adverse repercussions for the Higher Education sector should the IPUCCF fail to provide a 2017-2021 CBA counter-offer by the new deadline of February 12.“UASU prefers that the negotiations be completed urgently to enable factoring of 2017-2021 CBA in the Budget Estimates FY 2018/2019.”
“If a counter offer is not tabled by February 12 UASU will issue an irrevocable seven day strike notice on February 13.”