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Public universities’ staff unions issue strike threat

Kenya University Staff Union

By Rawlings Otieno and Maureen Abwao

Public universities’ staff unions have threatened to down their tools if the Government and university management fail to honour the Sh 3.9 billion pay deal.

Universities Academic Staff Union (Uasu), Kenya Universities Academic Staff Union (Kusu) and Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotels, Educational Institutions, Hospitals and Allied Workers (Kudheiha) told university chiefs to honour the deal, failure to which they would go on strike next month.

Kusu Secretary General Charles Mukhwaya said some universities have not started making payments as agreed but warned that they would not take anything less if they were not paid their dues by May 30.

“It will be unfortunate and unwarranted to inconvenience our students and their dear parents to cause universities to close, if the Government does not honour the deal,” said Mukhwaya.

The unions want vice chancellors to pay their new basic salaries, house allowances and arrears as agreed and signed in the Return to Work Formula that ended the industrial action in March.

According to the deal struck, the university chiefs should pay 27.8 per cent for basic salary, 10.9 per cent increase in house allowance for the members of staff in job groups one to 15. Already, Egerton, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, Technical University of Kenya and Technical University of Mombasa have implemented the return to work formula.

The three university unions have consistently accused the Inter Public Universities Councils Consultative Forum (IPUCCF) headed by Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology Vice Chancellor Mabel Imbuga of lacking transparency in the management of workers’ pay.

IPUCCF and the unions negotiate new basic salaries and house allowances under a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) every two years.

“The Unions therefore demand all the funds released by the Government to implement the 2010-2013 CBA,” said Mukhwaya.

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