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University staff issue strike notice over pay

EDUCATION
By - | January 15th 2013

By Rawlings Otieno

University staff have threatened to boycott duty if the Government does not honour their Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) signed last year.

They further claimed universities have not accounted for money released by Government.

Led by University Academic Staff Union (Uasu) and Universities Non-Teaching Staff Union (Untesu), the workers issued a seven-day strike notice starting on Monday.

If they make good their threat, learning in public universities could be paralysed next week. The unions want President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga to constitute a team to investigate how money released for harmonisation of salaries of teaching and non-teaching staff has so far been utilised.

Uasu Secretary General Muga K’Olale accused vice- chancellors of colluding to defraud staff money that had been released by Government.

“We have notified chief executives in all public universities that failure to honour the CBA signed and the money released, then we shall cut off our services,” said K’Olale.

Not valid

The two unions issued the strike notice in a statement read by K’Olale in Nairobi on Monday.

They want vice-chancellors to honour the 2010/2013 CBA as agreed upon and signed last September between unions and Inter-Public University Council Consultative Forum and Federation of Kenya Employers.

They claimed Government had reneged on paying the money and accused vice-chancellors and principals of various constituent colleges of implementing a CBA agreement that was illegal.

“We have in our possession a document the vice- chancellors and principals are using to implement the CBA, but this document is not valid and it is not even signed. The universities have unilaterally varied the agreement by drafting an illegal document,” said K’Olale.

The unions said they had received 17.42 per cent increment instead of the 33.1 per cent agreed last September.

Two phases

The Sh7.8 billion was to be paid in two phases where Sh3.9 billion was paid by December 5, last year after the two unions settled for a 33.1 per cent increase of basic salary and 14.27 per cent increase in house allowance.

The money was to be paid in two phases dating back to July 1, 2010.

“We were offered a 33.1 per cent rise in basic salary and a 14.2 per cent in house allowance as we had agreed but university officials have declined to honour the Government deal,” said K’Olale.

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