KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion has urged University lecturers to persist with their strike. Addressing the press outside the precincts of the Parliament buildings, Sossion faulted the government’s treatment of the lecturers’ CBA, “Don’t call off the strike in all public universities. I would like to make a correction, CBA should not exceed two years,” he said referring to the implementation of the 2013/2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement which has stalled, “If there is an expectation of a new CBA, it should be the 2017/2021 CBA. No CBA should go beyond two years because of inflation and other factors.”
He said the government is trying to conceal itself behind the SRC, “It’s unfortunate that the government is hiding behind institutions created through the constitution, particularly the Salaries and Remuneration Commission to clamp on workers and to interfere with free negotiations with workers.” Furthermore, the KNUT SG castigated Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i for ignoring the lecturers’ strike, “This is a disaster and you cannot say you are supervising KCSE exams when the candidates even can’t join the universities,” said Sossion.
Earlier on, in a different press address, Universities Academic Staff Union (UASU) chairman Muga K’Olale had reiterated that lecturers won’t go back to work until their CBA has been implemented. His sentiments were supported by UASU Secretary General Constantine Wasonga who said the lecturers’ strike isn’t influenced by politics. He revealed that there is no accountability in Universities and even the Ministry of Education doesn’t know the number of employees in public Universities, “When we went to negotiate, that’s when they asked how many are you!” said Wasonga.
He added that the dons have faced tough times and only during the late George Saitoti’s tenure as the Minister of Education were the lecturers happy, “That’s when even lecturers were given a 160% salary increment, but in subsequent years we’ve been lamenting,” said Wasonga.