Dons down tools over Sh10bn CBA

Dons down tools over Sh10bn CBA

Learning in public universities has been paralyzed after lecturers downed their tools to push for full implementation of their Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

The dons want the government to meet their demands and release Sh10 billion meant for their pay raise as per the 2013-2017 CBA that was signed in March after a two-month strike.

The industrial strike officially kicked off earlier today affecting at least 33 public universities and their constituent colleges across the country with more than 500,000 students.

The government had stepped up their efforts to avert the strike as late as yesterday but the university unions insisted that the industrial action will only be stopped by full payment.

University Academic Staff Union (UASU) and Kenya Universities Staff Union (KUSU) are fighting for the full execution of the CBA they signed with the government in March.

University of Nairobi (UoN), Kisii, Egerton and Maasai Mara University led other varsities to register their dissatisfaction with the government.

UoN workers marched in the streets of Nairobi, chanting “solidarity forever” as they vented their displeasure with the government.

Egerton University workers and lecturers launched their strike at Njoro Campus.

Maseno and JKUAT lecturers have also downed their tools after staff unions.

Education CS Fred Matiang’i on Sunday appealed to university unions to shelve strike plans for talks as the ministry has already disbursed Sh4.775 billion of the Ksh10 billion agreed in the CBA.

“It is, therefore, my appeal to Uasu to withdraw its planned strike and encourage its members to go on with their duties uninterrupted,” said Dr Matiang’i.

The CS explained that the CBA was concluded before the end of the financial year 2016/2017 and therefore, it was agreed that the implementation would be staggered into two financial years — 2016/2017 and 2017/2018.

He says the rest of the amount will come from the 2017/2018 Financial Year, saying that there is absolutely no reason whatsoever for any of the university unions to resort to industrial action.

But UASU Secretary General Constantine Wesonga differed with Matiang’i insisting that the Sh10 billion was to be released as a whole and not in phases.

His KUSU counterpart Charles Mukhwaya accused the government of playing cat and mouse games, saying the lecturers had not received the Sh4.775 billion in their accounts as claimed by CS Matiang’i.

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