Tag of war over Sh6.8 billion pay proposal for lecturers

Shop stewart KUDHEHIA Pwani University Mary Njeri addressing journalists at Pwani University on Thursday,March ,8during the workers strike. [Photo by Maureen Ongala/Standard]
Vice chancellors have requested Sh6.8 billion from the Government to end the university workers' strike.

The university managers want to use the funds as a basis for talks with the workers' unions.

The Standard established that the cost of the new 2017-2021 collective bargaining agreement is Sh38 billion.

This means the balance would be paid based on annual capitation increments.

Details of a counter proposal, which have been kept away from unions, were revealed when university management teams appeared before the National Assembly's education committee yesterday.

Inter-Public University Councils Consultative Forum (IPUCCF) officials said the proposal would cater for the 2017-2018 financial year. They noted subsequent payments would be in the form of capitation.

But the University Academic Staff Union (Uasu) rejected the proposal, saying the figures were unilaterally arrived at by the vice chancellors.

“They did not involve us when coming up with the figures and we do not know who they speak for. They are using us to negotiate for capitation,” said Constantine Wasonga, the Uasu secretary general.

Present at the meeting were Parliament's university education sub-committee chairman Malulu Injendi (Malava), committee chairman Julius Melly and Matayos MP Geoffrey Odanga.

Uasu and Kenya Universities Staff Union (Kusu), who had appeared before the MPs earlier, demanded an offer that met their demands. The officials said they needed Sh10 billion for the first year of implementing the 2017-2021 CBA.

Of this, UASU said Sh6.5 billion would cater for salary increments for all 27,798 workers. At least Sh3.56 billion will cater for pension arrears.

The unions want a professor paid a basic salary of up to Sh1.5 million per month and the lowest paid academic staff – graduate assistant – to earn Sh195, 657.

They also want professors to get house allowance of Sh250,000, associate professors Sh190,000, senior lecturers Sh160,000, lecturers (Sh145,000), assistant lecturers Sh135,000 and graduate assistants Sh130,000.

university academic staff unionlecturers’ strikeuasu