The University Academic Staff Union – UASU says it has toned down its demands to the education ministry in a bid to end the nationwide lecturers strike now in its third month.
Speaking to KBC by telephone, UASU Vice chairperson Joseph Mberia said they have reneged on demands that they be paid full salary increments with regards to the 2017-2021 CBA agreement and are now only demanding 1 year salary increments with arrears.
He said the move is to give the government ample time to factor in their full increments in this financial year’s budget.
Mberia at the same time allayed fears that lecturers will lose their jobs following suspensions from their respective universities. He said that the suspended lecturers will be protected with the signing of the 2017-2021 CBA which they are currently advocating for.
He also cautioned striking lecturers against signing commitment forms being demanded by their universities.
Mberia said it is unfortunate that officials of the Inter-Public Universities Councils’ Consultative Forum (IPUCCF) failed to show up Monday morning for a meeting with UASU union officials on a counterproposal on lecturers CBA.
He is however optimistic that the inter-ministerial taskforce set up by education cabinet secretary Amina Mohamed will help solve the current stalemate on lecturers pay.
His comments come as public universities start cracking the whip on striking lecturers. The University of Nairobi (UoN) has since suspended 35 lecturers after they declined to return to work. Others have been denied their salaries.