Egerton University issues redundancy notice after council members jailed

Egerton University Council Members Esther Wabuge, Wilson Ronno, Dr Hukka Wario and Julius Mutua at Nakuru Employment and labour relations court on December 8,2022. [Kipsang Joseph,Standard]

Egerton University has issued a notice to declare staff redundant.

The university in an internal memo dated December 21, and addressed to all staff indicated that the University Council reached the decision following the difficulties the Institution has been undergoing.

The redundancy as per the notice will affect staff across all departments.

"Following the difficulties the University has undergone in meeting the full requirements for staff salaries and other emoluments and benefits, the University Council on advice has reached a decision to declare staff redundancies across all cadres of staff,” read part of the notice signed by deputy Vice Chancellor Richard Mulwa.

This, the notice said will enable the institution to manage the wage bill and bring more efficiency in delivering the University's mandate to its employees and customers.

"All staff are hereby given notice of the intention to declare redundancy in the University. It is also assured that the process will be conducted fairly and within the confines of the law as provided in the Employment Act 2007, laws of Kenya," Mulwa stated in the notice.

The university has been struggling with debts putting the management in the limelight for failing to pay lecturers a hundred per cent salary.

Early this month, the Vice-Chancellor Prof Isaac Kibwage and eight council members were jailed for 30 days for defying a May 30, 2022, order to pay lecturers full salaries.

Justice David Nderitu said VC  Kibwage and the management team  took the court orders casually.

Nderitu said that even though the university has been facing financial problems, the management made no effort to mitigate the issues.

“The management did not engage the lecturers in a move to resolve the matter. No evidence has been brought in court to show the management has goodwill,” he said.

The judge said the management had other avenues to mitigate the situation, including declaring some of the staff redundant.

He also insisted that the management should have approached the staff and engaged in dialogue to resolve the issues noting the deferral of salaries can never be an option in resolving salary disputes.

"Why hasn’t the university management engaged the lecturers and the National Treasury over the matter?” wondered Nderitu.

The judge ruled that no evidence nor documents had been presented before the court to demonstrate the VC and the council members were acting in good faith.

The Standard
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