Lecturers Issue Strike Notice

  • The Universities Academic Staff Union (UASU) on Thursday, January 9, issued a strike notice.

    The lecturers vowed to down their tools from Monday, January 20, citing the government's failure to implement their 2017/21 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

    The announcement was made at a press conference called by UASU to address various issues including the CBA and the appointment of Professor Stephen Kiama as the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nairobi (UoN).

    UASU Secretary-General Constantine Wesonga pictured in a past appearance before a Parliamentary Commitee

    The dons promised to stay away from public universities until the CBA signed on October 28, 2019, was fully implemented.

    UASU Secretary-General Constantine Wasonga maintained that the agreement was being disregarded and they would not relent until their demands were fully met.

    "SRC, IPUCCF, the unions convened a meeting and in that meeting, we were being guided by the SRC technical committee on how to implement the CBA, and we calculated the master scales, increments and arrears for 2017/20121 CBA and the figure we got was Sh13.8 billion excluding pensions.

    "Now SRC is saying IPUCCF erroneously indicated the cost of the CBA to be Sh13.8 billion...the government is talking in two mouths," Wesonga explained.

    As part of the CBA, lecturers were supposed to get a salary increment of 5.75% to 6.27% annually for the 2017-2021 period.

    The CBA was also tied to implementation of job evaluation results in public universities.

    It was signed after protracted negotiations and industrial action that saw the lecturers go on a 78-day strike which ended on May 17, 2018.

    UASU was satisfied as they signed a return-to-work formula with the government, only reiterating that the deal had to be implemented.

    “As UASU we are very proud of the solidarity, commitment and discipline shown by our members during the long period of negotiation, conciliation, industrial action and court adjudication. We remind the IPUCCF and the government to implement this CBA,”  Wesonga stated at the time.

    UASU leaders pictured during a demonstration

    The notice coincided with an announcement by the Higher Education Loans Board (Helb) indicating that more than over 100,000 students would miss out on crucial loans in the 2019/2020 academic year after failing to meet loan collection targets.

    “If the target of Ksh4.9 billion is not achieved, a third of the 370,000 students in universities and technical and vocational education and training (TVET) colleges will not get loans for remaining part of the 2019/2020,” Helb chief executive Charles Ringera was quoted in a Business Daily report published Thursday, January 9.