Involve us in budget, Uasu tells State

Uasu Chairman Muga KO’lale and Uasu Secretary General Dr Constantine Wasonga (centre) at a past event. [File, Standard]
The Universities Academic Staff Union wants to be involved in the budget making process to rid the institutions of recurring financial woes.

But the dons were happy the State has factored in Sh5.2 billion pension arrears to be paid to them this financial year. According to Uasu Secretary General Constantine Wasonga, the pension had accrued as from 2013/2017 financial years.

Initially, six public universities risked losing assets to pension schemes after they failed to remit deductions to build workers’ retirement funds.

Retirement Benefits Authority (RBA) Chief Executive Nzomo Mutuku had warned that the universities would cede the properties if they lacked funds to clear the arrears.

RBA reckons Uasu had opened talks with vice chancellors of the unnamed universities to work on a remedial plan to clear the arrears estimated at Sh5 billion.

Yesterday, Dr Wasonga told the Sunday Standard after he met Education PS Belio Kipsang and senior ministry officials that although they had won the battle on pension schemes, they were yet to succeed as well on the collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

In future, Dr Wasonga wants Uasu involved in the budget making each financial year.

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"We need to work closely with universities in making the budget to ensure they appropriate enough money for  salaries and research,’’ Dr Wasonga said, adding that the current budget process was ‘"opaque. "We have always demanded for better pay ...more money for scientific research but what we get is too paltry to call,’’ said Dr Wasonga.

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