Lecturers strike hurts learning

People Daily Team @PeopleDailyKe

The ongoing strike by lecturers in public universities has caused uncertainties for most academic programmes, even as the tutors maintain a hardline stance that they will continue to push for their unpaid dues.

The strike enters its sixth day today, with the Universities Academic Staff Union (Uasu) officials dismissing claims that they have been politically instigated to take the industrial action.

The union, through Uasu chairman Muga K’Olale and secretary general Constatine Wasonga, has declared that their members will not resume duty until the government releases Sh5.2 billion, which was approved by Parliament last month to pay the 2013-2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) but is yet to be disbursed.

And as the effects of the strike continue to be felt, it remained unclear whether the University of Nairobi (UoN) students scheduled to reopen today, will resume. UoN closed indefinitely last month owing to student unrest.

The situation has further been exacerbated by the lecturers’ strike that continues this week, if the lecturers’ demands are not addressed sooner.

It is also time when most universities hold their graduation ceremonies and should the strike continue, many students will be affected.

Already, the Multimedia University has declared that a graduation ceremony expected this week will not take place until lecturers’ demands are met.

The CBA was signed in March this year ending a 54-day strike that began on January 19, this year. The government released Sh10 billion for the payment of arrears in June but reverted to the old salaries citing lack of funds.

This year alone, lecturers have downed their tools three times. The dons have since accused ministries of Finance, Education and the management of public universities of colluding to curtail collective bargaining agreements dating back to 2012.

“Our CBAs are supported by the law and we are prepared to go on strike for as long as it takes as a result of injustices perpetuated by government organs and universities,” said K’Olale.

Reporting by Irene Githinji, Oliver Musembi and Kinyuru Munuhe

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