University workers reject half pay, threaten strike

Kenya University Staff union KUSU Sec. Gen Charles Mukhwaya photo:courtesy

University workers have rejected Sh4.8 billion payment towards their salary increment.

Union officials have insisted on full payment and threatened to down their tools if the Government fails to release the Sh10 billion.

The Saturday Standard has established that the Government is ready to release half the amount and this has sparked reactions from union officials.

The Government signed a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with University Academic Staff Union and the Kenya University Staff Union (Kusu) and committed to start implementing it on July 1.

“We have never taken sides in politics but when rattled, we can rally our students and staff against the Government,” said Uasu Secretary General Constantine Wasonga.

He instructed members to check if the full amount has been wired to their accounts. “Pay our Sh10 bilion. If by midnight we don’t see money just know that the strike has started,” said Wasonga.

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Kusu Secretary General Charles Mukhwaya said they feel betrayed by Government’s inaction.

“The CBA was signed and registered in the Industrial Court. The deadline has elapsed yet there is no money. Seems that one side has reneged on the deal,” he said.

He said the unions suspended the strike last month because they were told the money would be made available.

“They told us that the Sh10 billion would be available. That is when we engaged the employers in accordance with Article 41 of Labour Relations Act,” he said.

He accused unknown persons of sabotaging the Government.

“They have a few hours to ensure the money in its entirety is in the accounts. Is someone sabotaging the Government? If the money is not there the die is cast,” he said.

A letter, dated February 6, by Higher Education Principal Secretary Prof Collete Suda reads: “The Government has decided to make an offer of Sh10 billion to fully fund the entire 2013-2017 CBA.”

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