April 20, 2019

University staff unions say strike inevitable

University staff unions have on Wednesday (18/1/2017) declared a nationwide strike starting Wednesday midnight.

The Universities’ Academic Staff Union (UASU), Kenya University Staff Association (KUSA) and Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotel, Educational and Allied (KUDHEA) workers union, have said that learning will be paralysed until the Government honours the 2013-2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

The staff unions reiterated that the strike would go on until the deal is negotiated, signed, registered and its implementation schedule agreed on.

UASU Chairman Muga K’olale accused Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) and the Ministry of Education for neglecting their issues for a long time.

“Numerous attempts by the unions to revive talks with the government have hit a dead end, prompting to opt for industrial action in order to safeguard interests of university staff,” said K’olale.

“The unions played their roles as provided for by in the Constitution and as good practices would dictate. Jogoo House failed, SCR failed. This strike is inevitable and it is essential… highly essential,” he added.

UASU Secretary General Constantine Wasonga said the Government lacks commitment to engage unions in solving the stalemate.

“Without the 2013-2017 CBA, there will be no learning; no research activities; no innovation across all the public universities. The three unions must remain united in our pursuit to achieve better standards,” said Wasonga.

UASU issued a strike notice on January 12 to the council chairs of public universities.

The Employment and Labour Relations Court had earlier extended orders stopping the strike by lecturers.

Justice Hellen Wasilwa gave the directions in a case where the Inter-Public Universities Councils Consultative Forum of Federation of Kenya Employers has sued the Universities Academic Staff Union (UASU).

The judge directed that the planned industrial action should be suspended so as to pave the way for negotiations with the relevant authorities.

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