Varsities face fresh storm over pay deal

Up to 30,000 teaching and non-teaching staff in public universities might wait until July to benefit from a salary increment deal signed last year.

The Standard has established that the Sh8.8 billion meant to implement the 2017-2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) signed in October last year was not factored in the budget, despite a government promise to make the money available.

According to the implementation notes for the CBA, the money was to be paid on of before November 30, 2019.

News that the money is still not available was delivered to public universities Vice-Chancellors (VCs) and council chairpersons during yesterday’s crisis meeting.

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This came even after the negotiation team, the Inter Public Universities Councils Consultative Forum (IPUCCF) officials were assured last year that the CBA money was available for immediate release.

Universities Academic Staff Union (Uasu) Secretary-General Constantine Wasonga (pictured) yesterday said no learning will take place in public universities if the money was not paid.

Chaos threatened

“There will be total chaos in the universities and we shall not accept any further delays,” said Wasonga.

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The 2017-2021 CBA signed by Uasu and IPUCCF states that the workers were to get adjusted salaries backdated to 2017.

According to the salary deal, academic staff were to receive salary increments of between 23.14 per cent and 25.07 per cent spread over four years (2017-2021).

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This translated to an annual salary award ranging between 5.75 per cent and 6.27 per cent.

The deal covers members of Uasu, the Kenya University Staff Union and the Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotels, Educational Institutions Hospital and Allied (Kudheiha).

Yesterday’s meeting of the Inter Public Universities Councils Consultative Forum came as public university managers differed with the Salaries and Remuneration Commission on the correct amount for the CBA. 

After yesterday’s meeting, the IPUCCF officials were tasked to engage staff unions to avert any possible strike.

“This is a serious development and we are not sure if the unions will understand this position,” said one of the VCs who attended the meeting.

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