Support staff from all public universities in Kenya could be headed for a strike if the institutions do not implement their collective bargaining agreement within the next 21 days.
According to a latter dated 23rd August, the Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotels, Educational, Institutions and Hospital Workers (KUDHEIHA) the workers will down their tools once the 21-days notice lapses.
KUDHEIHA Secretary-General Albert Njeru, indicated that the strike will commence on 24th September for “failure of the management of universities to negotiate, conclude and implement the 2017-2021 CBA as ordered by court”.
“This CBA should have been implemented in July 2017 and now a whole year has already gone by and nothing has been done.
This has to be discussed now so that Parliament can factor it in the supplementary budget,” Mr Njeru told the Nation.
An enforced CBA would see the salaries, travel and house allowances of the support staff improve.
Mr Njeru estimates that the total costs will be about Sh7 to 10 billion.
In May, workers under the Kenya University Staff Union rejected a government deal, saying the basic salary increase was too little.
“We are ready to engage in negotiations should they come back with a counter-offer. We went and met the Ministry of Labour officials but the employers representatives did not turn up,” Secretary-General Charles Mukhwaya said.
Nevertheless, lecturers decided to end their 76-day industrial action after the University Academic Staff Union leaders struck a deal with the government.
Secretary-General Constantine Wasonga said the strike was called off to allow learning to resume and to create a suitable environment for fruitful negotiations with the Ministry of Labour.
“We have made this decision to allow time for negotiations, and we hope the government will be serious with the talks,” he said in May 17.
However, there were claims that lecturers were being forced to return to work through threats of dismissal.
They were given a 1.75 per cent salary offer – which translates to Sh3.6 billion for four years – meaning that the least paid worker will get a yearly increase of Sh53 and the highest — a professor — an increase of Sh1,000 a year.
But they turned down the offer, pushing for their Sh38 billion four-year salary proposal.