Re­prieve for 600,000 stu­dents as lec­tur­ers end strike

Univer­sity staff strike deal af­ter day-long meet­ing with Min­istry of Labour

Daily Nation (Kenya) - - FRONT PAGE - BY OUMA WAN­ZALA owan­zala@ke.na­tion­media.com AND FAITH NYA­MAI fnya­mai@ke.na­tion­media.com

Lec­tur­ers have called off their strike, which had paral­ysed learn­ing in pub­lic uni­ver­si­ties for 78 days.

Univer­sity Aca­demic Staff Union (Uasu) called off the strike af­ter day-long ne­go­ti­a­tions at the Min­istry of Labour of­fices, which were led by Ms Hellen Apiyo, a con­cil­ia­tor from the min­istry.

Uasu Sec­re­tary-gen­eral Con­stan­tine Wasonga said they had de­cided to call off the strike af­ter con­sid­er­ing the wel­fare of stu­dents. “We have made this de­ci­sion to al­low time for ne­go­ti­a­tions, and we hope the gov­ern­ment will be se­ri­ous with the talks,” said Dr Wasonga.

Vice-chan­cel­lors Com­mit­tee Chair­man Fran­cis Aduol said the uni­ver­si­ties will en­gage the union in ne­go­ti­a­tions in or­der to end peren­nial strikes.

Ms Apiyo wel­comed the de­vel­op­ment, say­ing the par­ties should em­brace di­a­logue and avoid strikes.

In­ter Pub­lic Uni­ver­si­ties Coun­cils Con­sul­ta­tive Fo­rum Chair­man Paul Kan­yari said no lec­turer will be vic­timised, and that they will be paid their salaries. “There will be no job loss, loss of ben­e­fits and both par­ties agree to with­draw all court cases re­lat­ing to the strike,” said Prof Kan­yari.

Both par­ties agreed that the se­mes­ter be ex­tended to cover for the lost time.

Dr Wasonga said they had re­jected Sh3.6 bil­lion to al­low for fresh ne­go­ti­a­tions.

The lec­tures have been de­mand­ing that the gov­ern­ment ta­bles the 2017-2021 CBA counter pro­posal for ne­go­ti­a­tion and im­ple­men­ta­tion.

How­ever, Kenya Univer­sity staff union (Kusu) Sec­re­tary­gen­eral Charles Mukhwaya said the strike is still on as they are yet to reach an agree­ment with the gov­ern­ment.

“As Kusu, we were to meet the ne­go­ti­at­ing team, but the meet­ing did not take place as Uasu was meet­ing them,” said Dr Muk­waya

On Mon­day, the gov­ern­ment of­fered the lec­tur­ers a 1.75 per cent ba­sic salary in­cre­ment spread out over four years, but no in­crease on house al­lowance.

The salary in­crease trans­lates to 0.435 per cent an­nual in­cre­ment. On mort­gages and car loans, the pro­posal says that in­di­vid­ual univer­sity coun­cils will ne­go­ti­ate with their Uasu chap­ters.

“Other terms and con­di­tions of ser­vice cur­rently in force as agreed by the re­spec­tive coun­cils shall re­main un­changed, ex­cept where cir­cum­stances al­low in­di­vid­ual coun­cils to har­monise or im­prove the same,” adds the counter-of­fer doc­u­ment.

FILE | DAILY NA­TION

Uasu Sec­re­tary-gen­eral Con­stan­tine Wasonga said he hopes the gov­ern­ment will be se­ri­ous with the fresh ne­go­ti­a­tions.

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