Learning in public universities may be interrupted again if lecturers make good of their nationwide strike threats over stalled negotiations between their union and the government over a 2017-2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).
Speaking on Saturday, the Kenya University staff Union (KUSU) threatened to disrupt services in all public higher learning institutions if the Inter Public Universities Council Consultative Forum (IPUCCF) and the Ministry of Education continue stalling the negotiations.
According to KUSU’s Secretary General Charles Mukhwana, the government is non-committal in concluding the negotiations that are expected to lead to the signing and registration of the CBA in time.
Dr. Mukhwana said that the government has failed to offer a counter proposal to their demands and seem unprepared or refusing to participate in the negotiations.
“We protest and hate the fact that for the three meetings we have held with the IPUCCF, the government has demonstrated lack of commitment to the process by giving countless excuses so as not to engage us,” said Dr Mukhwaya.
The parties had agreed to sit on the negotiating table between January 25 and February 28, to conclude talks over the CBA before its implementation.
Dr Mukhwaya urged the government to fast track the completion of the negotiations within the remaining time.
The union gave the IPUCCF and the government until the end of next week to offer the counter proposal.
He warned that they would seek alternative means to resolving the matter if the government does not participate in the talks.
“If by the close of business on February 23, the IPUCCF shall not have given a counter proposal for 2017-2021 CBA, the union shall entertain alternative approaches that can help break the inertia and expedite the process,” said Dr Mukhwaya.