Dons insist strike still on, vow to remain put
Lecturers on Sunday reiterated that their strike, which has been on for five weeks, will continue until the government negotiates, signs, registers and implements the 2013-2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement.
University Academic Staff Union Secretary General Dr Constantine Wasonga has warned that the dons will stay away from lecture halls until the government delivers what they say is a fair and just deal for them.
Dr Wesonga has at the same time accused university managements of using intimidation, including threats to stop their salaries, issue letters to show cause, and use of police but says they won’t barge.
The dons have rubbished the government offer of 3.2 per cent pay increment annually, assuring striking lecturers that their jobs will be safeguarded by a return-to-work that will be signed when the strike ends.
UASU national officials are on Tuesday set to appear before National and Senate Assemblies and court over their strike and are also expected to issue a statement on the way forward regarding the strike.
Two weeks ago the Labour and Employee Relations Court gave the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) seven days to supply the court and the Federation of Kenyan Employers (FKE) with copies of negotiations on the ongoing lectures’ strike.
“The necessary documents [should] be supplied to show progress [and] be supplied to court,” directed Justice Hellen Wasilwa.
The court was told that the government has offered Ksh10 billion to the striking lectures.
“On our part Ministry of Education has offered Ksh10 billion to pay the salaries, we are waiting for treasury to capture these funds … and discus how the Ksh10 billion will be spread across the lectures’ unions,” the court heard.
Meanwhile, orders stopping the lectures from striking were extended to the 20th of this month when the case will be mentioned.
Mid last month, Justice Hellen Wasilwa of the Employment and Labor Relations Court stopped the University Academic Staff Union, the Kenya Universities Staff Union and their members from engaging in any activity likely to disrupt operations.
“An order is hereby issued restraining UASU, KUSU, their officials, agents or members from taking part in, calling, instigating or inciting others to taking part in an unprotected strike or any form of industrial action, pending the hearing and determination of the applications,” Judge Wasilwa directed.
The case was filed by Inter-Public University Councils Consultative Forum of the Federation of Kenya Employers.
The lectures are asking for a minimum salary of Ksh350,000 for an assistant lecturer in job group 11, and a minimum of Ksh1.5 million to a maximum of Ksh1.9 million for a full professor.
The strike has paralysed all the 33 public universities and their constituent colleges.