UASU (Universities Academic Staff Union) has officially launched the nationwide lecturers’ strike. Addressing the press in Nairobi on Thursday, UASU Secretary General Constantine Wasonga said the strike will continue until the 2017-2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement is negotiated, signed, registered at the Employment and Labour Relations Court, and implemented in total. “Other public sector employees started enjoying their 2017-2021 CBA last year July but as UASU, we are nine months behind,” he said, “This time I want to tell you we won’t negotiate at the tail end of 2017-2021 CBA.” He said University managements like negotiating at the tail end of CBAs so that they can steal money, “When we had Kshs 7.8 billion, University managements squandered half of it,” said Wasonga.
On his part, UASU Chairman Muga K’Olale said the Lecturers’ Union has been treated to orchestrated impunity by the government and the Universities since 18th December 2017. He said they attach a lot of premium to the 2017-2021 CBA because it carries a lot of gains, “The salary structures in the Universities have been characterised with distortions for decades which have ensured inequalities abound in the remuneration of all staff in public Universities. This CBA is aimed at correcting historical distortions and injustices,” said K’Olale.
The UASU Chairman further revealed that Universities don’t have definite salary structures, “We are seeking to restructure salary structures and each grade should be properly defined. At the moment no University staff knows how to predict their earnings and there are erratic cases where junior officers earn more than senior lecturers. He said Universities haven’t availed the costs of the CBA and this has made it hard for the Treasury to address their grievances. “We would like to urge the new Education CS Amina Mohamed to move with speed and meet the unions. We had booked an appointment with them but they’ve avoided meeting us,” said K’Olale.