Dons kick off biweekly demos today to push for better perks

Public universities’ lecturers will from today hold nationwide demonstrations twice a week to push for implementation of the 2013-17 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) signed with the government four years ago.

Universities Academic Staff Union (Uasu) yesterday announced a total paralysis in public universities as they kick off the demos at the University of Nairobi today. The union called for a lecturers’ strike on November 1.

Speaking at Co-operative University of Kenya in Karen, the union national secretary general Constantine Wasonga said dons will not relent until their salaries are enhanced and government jump-starts the 2017-21 CBA which is now four months due.

“The government honoured the CBA in terms of arrears only and it reverted to the old scheme of paying lecturers. This is unheard of labour practice and we shall not relent but instead intensify this strike until all our dues are paid,” he said.

The union officials accused Inter-Public Universities Councils Consultative Forum chair Paul Kanyari of misleading the public, a day after he urged the dons to go back to class assuring of ongoing talks with government.

Kanyari, on Monday, told journalists the government owes lecturers only four months’ arrears which is outlined in the 2017-21 CBA, an agreement that has not yet been tabled.

But the Wasonga-led team said yesterday that pension components have not been paid out yet to university employees. Uasu national vice chair Joseph Mberia asked IPUCCF, the body they negotiate with, to understand the CBA details, noting that the return-to-work formula timelines signed in March—after the first of the three strikes this year—had elapsed.

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