NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 28 – The Universities Academic Staff Union (UASU) on Monday signed the 2017-2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) ending months of intense negotiations following a March 2018 strike by lecturers in public universities.
The Inter-Public Universities Council Consultative Forum (IPUCCF), an umbrella body for Vice Chancellors in public universities offered Sh8.8bn in total out of which Sh7bn will cater for lecturers’ basic pay with the remaining Sh1.8bn set aside for pensions under 2017/2021 CBA period whose implementation runs from July 2017 to June 2021.
“We have been able to negotiate with unions and signed the CBA. The negotiations were very good, and I must appreciate and acknowledge that this is the first time we were negotiating while the universities are open most of the time we negotiate when lecturers are on strike,” said the Chairperson of the vice chancellors committee Prof Geoffrey Muluvi.
“I must thank the unions and our negotiation committee for a job well done and I hope we will continue with this cooperation going forward.”
Kenya Universities Staff Union (KUSU) Secretary General Charles Mukhwaya said the signing of the CBA is a milestone for the universities and called on all members to put more effort in their work.
“Today is a great day for all our members and all the public universities because after a long time of negotiations, we have finally come to an agreement and we thank the government for availing the necessary funds. I call upon our members to work hard and put the necessary effort so that when we are negotiating for 2021-2025, our work will speak for itself,” said Mukhwaya.
UASU Secretary General Constantine Wasonga said the union had accepted the offer but asked the government to suspend the implementation of Sessional Paper 1 of 2019 that proposes the funding of public universities under the Differentiated Unit Cost (DUC) module.
“As UASU we are very proud of the solidarity, commitment and discipline shown by our members during the long period of negotiation, conciliation, industrial action and court adjudication. We remind the IPUCCF and the government to implement this CBA,” Wesonga expressed.
Under the new CBA, university staff are supposed to get a salary increment of between 5.75 to 6.27 per cent annually for the period of 2017-2021.
The new basic salary structure covers a four-year CBA for the period 2017-2021 and is aligned with implementation of job evaluation results for public universities.
Last year in March, lecturers went on strike for 78 days over salary increment and called it off after UASU and the government signed a return to work formula.
Both parties also agreed to withdraw all cases in court.
University management were to adjust semester dates to compensate for the time lost.