Lecturers’ strike set to end as Sh5.2m is released

Striking university workers are set to resume duty after the Education ministry on Tuesday released the second and final tranche of Sh5.2 billion for their Sh10 billion collective bargaining agreement.

The staff have been on a two-week job boycott that paralysed learning at 31 institutions of higher learning.

In a letter to vice-chancellors, University Education Principal Secretary Collete Suda said the money would be reflected in the lecturers’ bank accounts on Wednesday.

Lecturers and other staff at the 31 institutions will receive the money.

SH5.2 BILLION

The government had last week agreed to release the Sh5.2 billion to them at or before the end of July.

Early this month, the government released only Sh4.8 billion of the Sh10 billion in the CBA signed in March.

READ: Varsity staff to receive Sh5.2bn

Members of the Universities Academic Staff Union (Uasu); the Kenya University Staff Union (Kusu); and the Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotels, Educational Institutions, Hospitals and Allied Workers (Kudheiha) started boycotting work two weeks ago after the government failed to release the balance of Sh5.2 billion they had agreed on.

NEGOTIATIONS

Earlier Tuesday, Uasu secretary-general Constantine Wasonga said the national government, through Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i and the Inter-Public Universities Councils Consultative Forum of the Federation of Kenya Employers, had expressed commitment to concluding negotiations on the 2017-2021 CBA.

Kusu secretary-general Charles Mukhwaya and Kudheiha said the return-to-work formula is valid only if the government fulfils its promise.

READ: Matiang’i appeals to lecturers as strike ramps up

“We will not play a cat and mouse game. When we agree on a deal, the agreement must be fulfilled,” said Mr Mukhwaya.

JOB EVALUATION

At the same time, the lecturers called on a transparent job evaluation.

On Tuesday, Uasu issued a petition to the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC), demanding the job evaluation be transparent and participatory.

“We want the SRC to convene a stakeholders’ forum urgently to discuss the way forward,” said Dr Wasonga. “We are not going to accept a defective job evaluation.”

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