Another lecturers’ strike might be in the offing if the government does not move with speed to meet the new demands by the dons.
The lecturers are now demanding immediate talks with their employers on the 2017-2021 collective bargaining agreement (CBA).
This follows last week’s labour court ruling on a job evaluation, which had stalled the talks.
The Universities Academic Staff Union (UASU) has asked the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) to issue guidelines for talks with public universities, saying time is running out.
“Teachers have already signed their CBA, nurses have done the same. It is only lecturers who are remaining,” said UASU Secretary-General Constantine Wasonga.
UASU sued in 2017 to challenge a job evaluation report developed by SRC. According to the challenged job evaluation academic and non-academic staff were put in the same group.
78-Day Lecturers’ Strike.
Last year, lecturers ended their 78-day strike and resumed work without a cent. This was after the government insisted that it could only engage them after the conclusion of a court case on the job evaluation.
“Now that the court has given its verdict, let SRC give the beacons. They have been saying that they cannot give beacons because we are in court, now we want the beacons so that we can negotiate on salaries,” said Dr Wasonga.
He has warned that the union will not hesitate to call a nationwide strike in 32 public universities if the government fails to come to the negotiating table.
He said the union’s National Executive Council (NEC) will meet next week to give him directions.
“We ask the Ministry of Education to ask the National Treasury for funds. This CBA is long overdue, we want our money, let nobody blame us. We have been patient for a long time,” he said.
Last year, lecturers were given a 1.75 per cent salary raise offer. The offer translated to Sh3.6 billion for four years. This means that the least-paid worker was to get a yearly increase of Sh53. The highest-paid worker, a professor, on the other hand would get Sh1,000 a year.