Lecturers Back in Court over Ksh. 38bn in Salary Arrears

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In what seems to be a new tussle between lecturers and their employers, university dons have filed a fresh case seeking over Ksh. 38bn in salary arrears and other benefits spread over 4 years after the government offered them as little as Ksh. 53 in pay increments.

Through UASU, the dons are arguing the Employment and Labor Relations Court to compel the inter-Public Universities Councils Consultative Forum (IPUCCF) to commence discussions and implement the CBAs dated March 30, 2017 and May 17, 2018.

According to court papers, lecturers want the universities to be forced to promote the lecturers in line with regulatory guidelines that were issued in October 2014 even as the suit proceeds in court.

The dons argue that they were duped after the government offered them as little as Ksh. 53 in salary increments to break the 75-days strike that had parallelized learning in public institutions across the country.

A breakdown of the Ksh. 5.4bn that the government offered the lecturers over four years, the highest annual increment is Ksh. 1,000 awarded to the highest paid professor.

Uasu is asking the court to register the CBA proposals made by the union to the government and Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) dated March 30, 2017.

The union reckons that the State through IPUCCF presented a proposal to increase the lecturers’ salary at a measly 1.25 per cent to 1.75 per cent for the four-year period translating to annual increment of 0.435 per cent.

UASU has accused the State of reneging on the CBAs agreed upon leading to strikes that have crippled and interrupted learning in all the public universities for a long period.

“There is a real danger and likelihood that the continued frustrations of the CBAs negotiations by IPUCCF may result to another strike by Uasu members and negatively affect the education sector hence the need to certify the dispute as urgent and redressed,” says UASU lawyer Titus Koceyo.

Uasu adds that unless the case is certified urgent and heard expeditiously there is a real danger the members will be denied their unionisable rights.

The lecturers are also demanding services available to other public servants like car loans and higher quality medical insurance.

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