University lecturers have blocked in court the implementation of a new job grading system because it ranks administrators with less education above the tutors in the pay scale.
Employment and Labour Relations Court judge Justice Nelson Abuodha said the new salary levels proposed by the salaries and remuneration commission (SRC) do not factor the academic qualifications of the teaching staff.
Universities Academic Staff Union (Uasu) said their input in the pay scale was not included before the final job evaluation was arrived at.
Once implemented, it will see administrative staff like librarians and finance officers, who normally have degrees, earn more than senior lecturers with PhD qualifications.
“The case filed by lawyer Titus Koceyo for Uasu be and is hereby certified as urgent. I direct that the application be served upon the respondents — SRC and the Attorney General for hearing on August 14,” Justice Abuodha said.
The judge warned SRC officials that they will be jailed should the commission proceed to implement the new pay structure that would affect the salaries of more than 9, 500 lecturers.
Mr Koceyo said SRC engaged the services of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to undertake a job evaluation for academic staff in all the public universities without involving Uasu.
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The court heard that the fresh job grading could derail implementation of the recently inked collective bargaining agreement which led to the release of Sh10 billion to the university workers.
The court heard PwC used a management model known as Paterson Tool for the review that gave a smaller weight to the academic qualifications.
It ranked assistant university lecturers below staff in charge of students’ hostels and legal officer.
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However, it ranked professors highly, just beneath the Vice Chancellors and their deputies with no administrative staff coming ahead of them.
“It is imperative that SRC carries out its mandate consultatively by involving all the requisite stakeholders such as Uasu,” said Mr Koceyo.