By Augustine Oduor
University lecturers and workers are currently holding a meeting at a Nairobi Hotel that may result in signing of a return to work formula.
This is after the government announced an offer of Sh7.8 billion to settle the backlog of stalled Comprehensive Bargaining Agreements that signed several years ago.
Higher Education minister Margaret Kamar said the offer was a result of a daylong meeting that ended late last night.
“As far as we are concerned we have made the offer and we are all in agreement. What we did not agree on is how the money shall be paid,” said the minister in her Jogoo House office.
She said the government has offered to pay the money in two phases sh 3.9 billion starting January next year and the balance be paid by July next year.
“The first phase will be paid this financial year through the supplementary budget. The next phase shall be settled in the 2013/13 budget,” she said.
But the University Academic Staff union (Uasu) and the Universities Non-Teaching Staff Union (Untensu) said they are still consulting before issuing comprehensive statement.
“We are currently holding a meeting to discuss the figures and what the raise tabulates across all the cadres. We shall issue a statement soon,” said Untesu secretary general Charles Mukhwaya.
Prof Kamar said the unions and the government were in agreement that all the backlog should be paid ahead of another bargaining agreement that is slated to start mid next year.
She said the cabinet subcommittee meeting placed the offer after acknowledging that the lecturers and university workers grievances are genuine.
“They have accepted the figure. They are currently holding a meeting and we expect them to sign a return to work formula. We then expect lecturers back in class tomorrow morning and by Monday all classes should be back and running,” she said.