Unions call for dialogue with Moi varsity over redundancy plans

Moi University administration block. [Kevin Tunoi, Standard]

Three unions have called on Moi University to rescind its redundancy notice to pave way for negotiation with all stakeholders.

The Universities Academic Staff Union (UASU), Kenya University Staff Union (Kusu) and Kenya Union of Domestic Hotels Educational Institutions Hospitals and Allied Workers (Kudheiha) expressed disappointment at the university’s recent announcement of plans to lay off some of its staff.

The unions’ leaders said there had been anxiety among staff since the redundancy memo was released on Monday, affecting the normal workflow. UASU chapter secretary Dr Busolo Wegesa said it was wrong for the university management to take such action without involving all stakeholders.

Addressing the media in Eldoret town, Dr Wegesa criticised the Prof Isaac Kosgey-led management at the university for ambushing the union members with the redundancy notice.

“The university management should understand that declaring redundancy comes with consequences of compensation. We are not sure whether there is anything about the severance package,” said Wegesa.

The UASU chapter chairperson Dr Richard Okero said the current state was due to poor managerial and financial decisions made by the university’s top administration. “We have had issues with the rampant mismanagement taking place. We did not expect this to take place at this time when we have had a management in place for over four years and is almost finalising its term in September,” said Dr Okero.

Bob Odhiambo, the KUSU chair, said he was informed that between 500 and 700 staff would be retrenched by September.

When contacted, Prof Kosgey claimed the number of staff to be laid off and the duration of the exercise was yet to be determined, as consultations were  underway. 

“This is a normal exercise provided by the employment law. We will be engaging a human resource consultant to work with us to determine the numbers and the time frame. There are many aspects to be considered,” said the VC.