That learning in public universities could be disrupted next month if lecturers make good their threat to strike is bad news for students and parents.
The Universities Academic Staff Union (Uasu) said the dons would go on strike because salary negotiations with the Government had failed to take off on Wednesday as scheduled.
Uasu said the Ministry of Higher Education failed to show up for the planned meeting.
Uasu secretary general Muga K’olale equally pointed an accusing finger at vice-chancellors for their attitude on the pay talks and accused them of derailing the negotiations.
During the talks, the universities were to be represented by the Inter-Public Universities’ Councils Consultative Forum and the Government by ministry officials.
Wednesday’s planned meeting was meant to tackle a stalled Comprehensive Bargaining Agreement (CBA) of 2010 that was to be implemented at the end of the last financial year. It was also expected to deliberate on another CBA for 2012-2014.
In the past, Uasu has shown its patience in giving the Government time on the matter.
It is therefore wrong for the ministry officials to fail to attend a planned meeting that would help avert a strike.
Last November, a strike by university lecturers disrupted learning and other academic programmes in public universities. All efforts must now be put in place to avert industrial action.
That is why officials at the Ministry of Higher Education must embrace the opportunity offered by Uasu and give dialogue a chance.