Lecturers reject salary offer, now want court to intervene

Principal Secretary Science and Technology Prof. Colletta Suda (left) with Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Student Affairs at the University of Nairobi (UoN) Prof. Isaac Mbeche. [David Njaaga]

Universities teaching staff have rejected an annual salary increase of about six per cent tabled yesterday during the inaugural pay talks, terming it meagre.

Sources in the meeting revealed that University Academic Staff Union (Uasu) said the Government offer lacked house allowance, which they termed a mandatory demand.

It emerged that university teaching staff have not had an increase in house allowance since 2013, with Uasu officials telling universities they will not wait for another four years.

Uasu officials and members of the joint negotiations committee of the Inter- Public Universities Councils Consultative Forum (IPUCCF), attended the meeting.

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University of Nairobi acting Vice Chancellor Isaac Mbeche, who chairs the IPUCCF, tabled the offer.

Finer details of the offer shows the four-year 2017-2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) has been condensed into only two phases staggered between two years.

Under the first phase, the document reveals that the first three years of the CBA will be implemented from July 2019, shutting lectures hopes for a two years backdated pay.

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Uasu Secretary General Constantine Wasonga yesterday told The Standard the union was opposed to the proposal of implementing a four-year CBA to be implemented in two phases.

The proposals seen by The Standard translate to an annual increment of between 5.75 per cent for highest earners and 6.27 per cent for lowest paid workers.

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Overall, the deal tabled yesterday means that for the entire CBA, if implemented in two years, university workers will benefit from a total salary increment of between 23.14 per cent and 25.07 per cent.

It also emerged that the offer tabled did not take into consideration the inflation rates, which is capped at four per cent.

This means that the ideal salary offer that IPUCCF ought to have tabled to cover the four-year period is between 39.14 and 41 per cent for the entire CBA life.

Broken down, professors who presently earn between Sh170,681 and Sh248,898 will, under the first phase, take home a cumulative salary of between Sh199,941 and Sh274,540.

Under the second and last phase, this category of staff will earn between Sh209,694 and Sh283,0867 per month.

SEE ALSO :Lecturers to wait longer for pay rise

Associate professors who currently earn between Sh145,441 and Sh203,605 will under first phase earn between Sh171,613 and Sh238,902.

In the second and last phase, this category of workers will take home between Sh180,337 and Sh250,668.

Senior lecturers who currently earn between Sh112,038 and Sh159,720 will under the first phase take home and enhanced pay of between Sh136,347 and Sh194,852. During the last phase, they will take home between Sh144,450 and Sh206,563.

Lecturers who earn between Sh99,409 and Sh140,683 will take home between Sh107,795 and Sh155,438 under the first phase. They will then earn enhanced pay of between Sh110,591 and Sh160,357 at the end of the second phase.

Assistant lecturers and tutorial fellows who presently earn Sh83,598 and Sh118,348 will earn between Sh94,281 and Sh134,523 per month under the first phase. And during the second phase, they will take home between Sh97,842 and Sh139,915.

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The deal also proposes that graduate assistants who earn Sh46,978 and Sh66,978 be paid enhanced salaries of between Sh55,041 and 78,659 under first phase. And during the second and last phase, the deal proposes they earn between Sh57,729 and Sh82,552.

Wasonga questioned the basis for the offer, saying the Ministry of Labour’s Central Planning and Monitoring Unit (CMPU) report on cost of living was not tabled in court yesterday.

“What have they used to come up with these figures? We have rejected them and we want the court to unlock this stalemate,” said Wasonga.

In his orders issued on July 4, Justice Byram Ongaya issued a 60-day deadline within which CMPU was to prepare and file an economic report with the court.

Report progress

Justice Ongaya ordered that all parties – universities managers, Government representatives and unions – report progress of negotiations to court yesterday.

During yesterday’s court session, the CMPU report was not tabled.

In their proposals, UASU demanded that graduate assistants’ pay be between Sh195,656 and Sh306,006 per month.

They want assistant lecturers to earn between Sh300,775 and Sh470,444 and lecturers between Sh406,050 and Sh635,444.

Senior lecturers would earn between Sh548,163 and Sh857,384, as associate professors take home between Sh740,020 and Sh1.2 million per month.

Professors would earn between Sh999,030 and 1.6 million.

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UasuCollective Bargaining AgreementColletta SudaUniversity Academic Staff UnionUniversity of Nairobi