How Varsities will share Sh8.8 billion salary boon

Trade Union Congress of Kenya (TUC-Ke) acting Secretary-General Charles Mukhwaya (right), Tom Odege, Secretary-General of Union of Kenya Civil Servants (UKCS) and Muga K'Olale, the Uasu National Chairman during a press conference in Nairobi on July 18, 2019, where they rejected the planned mergers of public universities. [File, Standard]

Details of how public universities will share the Sh8.8 billion salary boom have emerged, as a meeting between vice-chancellors and unions to discuss the offer aborted yesterday.

The Standard established that the Universities Academic Staff Union (Uasu) called off the meeting scheduled to discuss and possibly sign the pay agreement after some unclear clauses emerged in the offer tabled.

The joint negotiations committee of the Inter Public Universities Councils Consultative Forum (IPUCCF) had convened the meeting.

Correspondence between Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC), vice-chancellors and Education ministry showed some critical information was not made available to the union, prompting the postponement of the meeting.

SEE ALSO :Tussle over lecturers Sh10 billion offer

Letters seen by The Standard show that SRC had advised that all workers were eligible for four per cent annual increment to cushion them from inflation, but this was not factored in the offer.

“Public Service employees, including university staff, are generally cushioned against effects of inflation through automatic annual increment on basic salary, which is loaded prior to the implementation of the new salary structure,” said SRC boss Anne Gitau.

Mrs Gitau, in a letter dated September 30, said the academic staff workers were entitled to an annual increment translating to about 16 per cent for the four-year Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) period.

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It also emerged that some Sh530 million miscellaneous fee was set aside but was never disclosed by vice-chancellors when the offer was tabled to the unions.

In another letter to Higher Education PS Collette Suda, Gitau advised that the money would cover for any variation in the budget for basic pay or pension that might be occasioned by different salary points within the same salary structure.

SEE ALSO :Lecturers reject salary offer, now want court to intervene

Insiders in Uasu said the emerging undisclosed information touching on the basic offer necessitated cancellation of the planned meeting yesterday.

Overall, University of Nairobi will get the biggest allocation of Sh1.1 billion. Tharaka Nithi University and Alupe University College will each get Sh24 million, being the least allocations.

In the overall salaries offer for the four years, academic staff were to have increment of between 23.14 per cent and 25.07 per cent.

Professors who earn a minimum salary of Sh170,681 per month will have their pay increased to Sh180,434 in the first year of implementation and Sh190,187 in the second.

Senior lecturers who presently earn a minimum Sh112,038 will have their salaries increased to Sh120,141, Sh128,244, Sh136,347 and Sh144,450 for the next four years respectively.

SEE ALSO :Lecturers form team to resolve pay row with SRC

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