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Students will lose because of strike, committee says

Students who had paid school fees for this semester will lose if the government does not move with speed to end the ongoing lecturers’ strike, a Senate committee has said.

Members of the education committee chaired by Kirinyaga Senator Daniel Karaba said students who have have been told to go home due to the strike will take longer to complete their courses.

“The students have paid fees yet they are not learning. The strike has interfered with the academic calendar. Those expected to undertake attachment in hospitals can’t access them because even doctors are on the streets,” Nominated Senator Daisy Kanainza said.

Dr Agnes Zani, also a nominated senator, said the lecturers deserve a better pay given their workload, and appealed to the government to implement the 2013-2017 collective bargaining agreement.

The lecturers declined a Sh10 billion offer from the government, saying it is way below what they expected. They have said they are ready to take a 30 per cent basic salary increase per year for four years and a 20 per cent rise in house allowance per year for four years.

Teachers, public servants and dock workers are set to join striking lecturers in a show of solidarity.

Trade Union Congress (TUC-K) that brings together Kenya National Union of Teachers, Dock Workers Union, Union of Kenya Civil Servants and Universities Academic Staff Union said if the government fails to give in to the demands, all Kenyans will be called up to show solidarity with lecturers through demonstrations.

“We are asking for a collective bargaining agreement for lecturers and nothing else,” said TUK-K Secretary-General Wilson Sossion.

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