Public university staff enter second day of strike

University Academic Staff Union (Uasu) secretary general Constantine Wasonga photo:courtesy

There was no learning in public universities for the second day due to the ongoing strike by staff over salaries and allowances.

University Academic Staff Union (UASU) secretary general Constantine Wasonga said they would not resume work until they get their negotiated Sh10 billion.

The union is opposed to phased payment of the money as proposed by the Government.

The Government said it would start by giving them Sh4.8 billion. However, Wasonga said this figure was approved by Parliament to cater for their pension.

“That is our pension money and we don’t want anyone to joke with it. The money is meant to pay for accrued pension,” said Wasonga.

“My mind is clear that I did not sign for a phased payment of the money. I challenge Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i bring evidence that we agreed that the money be paid in bits,” Wasonga said.

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He said they would not renegotiate the 2013-2017 CBA between the union and the Government. Instead, he said they are keen to start talks on a new CBA for the 2017-2022 period.

The CBA signed and registered in March this year was to give 27,000 university staff members Sh10 billion, which had already been factored in the current financial year.

The beneficiaries are members of Uasu, Kenya Union of Domestic Hotels, Education Health Institutions and Allied workers (KUDHEHIA) and the Kenya University Staff Union (Kusu).

Uasu chairman Muga K’Olale warned that giving in to partial payment would compromise future Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations.

“If you allow partial implementation of the 2013-2017 CBA, you will have will set a dangerous precedent. This will be used in future to deny us a chance to negotiate for the 2017-2021 CBA,” warned K’Olale.

 

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