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Learning Hit as Kenya Lecturers’ Strike Enters Day 2

Learning remains paralysed in public universities as strike by lecturers and non-teaching staff enters its second day.

The dons and workers downed their tools on Monday to push for full implementation of their Sh10-billion Collective Bargaining Agreement.

In the pact signed in March, lecturers were to get a 17.5 percent pay rise as workers allied to Kenya University Staff Union (Kusu) and Kudheiha receive over 24 percent increment.

The workers kept off their work stations on Tuesday as others took to the streets to push the government to execute the CBA that was filed in court.

At the University of Nairobi, the striking workers demonstrated on the main campus, chanting and hitting out at Education Cabinet Secretary for failing to honour their deal.

Similar demos were witnessed at Jomo Kenyatta University of Science at Technology in Juja, Technical University of Mombasa, Kisii University among others.

SH4.7 BILLION

At Kisii University, striking non-teaching staff claimed their industrial cause was being curtailed by lecturers who had refused to join them.

Kusu Kisii branch leaders lashed out at lecturers, accusing them of dodging the planned nationwide strike.

They claimed lecturers at the institution have a history of refusing to join strikes called by their unions.

The irate workers went around lecture halls evicting students and lecturers.

“All departments including the academic, must withdraw their services,” said Kusu Chairman Geoffrey Ratemo.

The workers went on to demand for their share of the Sh4.7 billion Dr Matiang’i said had been sent to universities’ bank accounts.
They said the university management had been very silent on how much had been allocated to the institution and when it would be disbursed to their accounts.

Kusu Kisii branch organising secretary Moses Nyandusi said a total of Sh136.7 million had been sent to the university from the Sh4.7 billion.

Mr Ratemo said they were in talks with the varsity’s management and finance office to agree on how the cash would be paid out.

“We have a meeting with management and the finance office in the afternoon to discuss on how you will be paid,” he said.

“The payment schedules are currently under scrutiny at the finance office after which we will issue official communication of our meetings to staff.”

However, Mr Nyandusi said the amount would only be enough to offset their arrears but not their salary increments and allowances.

Kusu members maintained that they would soldier on with the job boycott until their union representatives communicate otherwise.

“We will continue withdrawing our services until we receive communication from our representatives in Nairobi that the full amount has been paid by the national government,” said Mr Ratemo.

But Uaus’s Kisii branch secretary-general Mactosh Onwonga said lecturers could not take part in the strike because they had not issued a notice as required.

Mr Onwonga, however, said lecturers were on a go-slow because they were displeased with the national government’s decision to pay them in phases.

“It would be illegal if we joined Kusu in the industrial action because we had not issued a strike notice to the relevant authorities,” he said

“We however support them and to show our solidarity, all lecturers are currently on a go-slow.”

SAnews..

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