University staff from all public universities in the country will go on strike on March 12 to push the management to release Sh3.8 billion.
In a joint meeting of three unions representing workers in the institutions of higher learning held at Egerton University, Njoro campus, officials said the only way out is for the government to order management of the universities to release the funds to workers.
“We have given the management enough time since September last year to release the funds to workers but they have failed to do so. We went further and held discussions with them two weeks ago. Now it is up to the government to intervene in the matter,” said University Academic Staff Union (UASU) chairman Professor Sammy Kubasu. Kubasu who was flanked by the union’s secretary General Muga K’olale and Kenya University Staff Union (KUSU) Secretary General Dr Charles Mukawya, accused the management of the public universities of mismanaging the money.
“In September 20, 2012, we negotiated with the government for Sh7.8billion, which was released to the management of the public universities to review and enhance the basic and house allowances for eligible staff,” He recalled. Now Watch: Nyeri floods affecting staff at Kenya Motor garage The money formed the bulk of funds meant to fulfil the Collective Bargaining Agreement package signed in September 2012, which saw the government award the universities Sh7.8 billion to review and enhance the basic and house allowances for eligible university staff.
Addressing journalists after the meeting Wednesday, K’olale claimed that despite the government releasing the money as per the agreement, university managers have directed the money to other uses. He added that the managers have accepted that they had used the money to hire casual workers, open new campuses, hire part timers and pay debts dating back from 2006.
“Half the money is yet to be paid and we ask the government to intervene in the issue before March 12,” he said. Dr Mukwaya said they have completed plans for the strike and that all members of the unions representing workers in the universities will down their tool. “There is no more room for negotiations and the government should brace itself for the mother of all strikes. None will be teaching or work in the universities until the money is paid in full,” he said.