Lecturers’ Union threaten to issue strike notice due to frustrating CBA talks

UASU Secretary General Constantine Wasonga
UASU Secretary General Constantine Wasonga. FILE PHOTO

University dons have voiced their displeasure with the ongoing 2017-2021 CBA discussions with the government and UASU officials have said an irrevocable seven-day strike notice will be issued from 13th February if there is no counter offer on the table. Union officials have said there has been no progress in the talks. Addressing the press in Nairobi, the officials led by Secretary-General Constantine Wasonga faulted IPUCCF (Inter-Public Universities Council Consultative Forum) and the national government for failing to place an offer to counter UASU’s offer, “It seems our partners haven’t learnt anything from last year’s strike,” said Wasonga.

He said in earlier discussions last year, the parties agreed to finalize the CBA by 31st May last year, to meet the deadline UASU gave their proposal in March but other involved parties failed to meet the deadline. “Throughout the negotiations, the Union has shown commitment to meet the deadline, but IPUCCF hasn’t shown commitment. They asked for more time for the new Education CS to properly settle, and now we have granted them time to consult,” said Wasonga. He reiterated that February 12th will be the last day and if the issue isn’t dealt with, they’ll proceed with their strike notice.

The Secretary-General said UASU have done their part in the negotiations so far, “As a union, we won’t be blamed because we have been flexible. Other public service employees are enjoying their 2017-2021 CBA while we are struggling,” he said, adding that they don’t want to revisit the CBA at its tail end.

On his part, UASU Chairman Muga Kolale said there are still vital issues to be solved in Universities, including the issue of Acting Vice Chancellors. He said University heads leading in an acting role are facing a tough task, saying operations have been affected in Universities. He urged the newly appointed Education, CS Amina Mohamed, to deal with the issue, saying negotiations have also been affected because the acting VCs use their position as an excuse.