Varsity unions threaten to begin strike in public unis starting Monday

BY NAMULONGO PETER,NAIROBI,7TH JAN,2017-Operations in public universities across the country could ground to a halt next Monday if  Varsity unions  make true their threat to strike after  what they say is a failure by government to counter offer on their 2010 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

This follows a meeting of the Inter-Public Universities Consultative Council Forum (IPUCCF) with leaders of the Universities Academic Staff Union (UASU), the Kenya Universities Staff Union (KUSU) and Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotels, Educational Institutions, Hospitals and Allied Workers (KUDHEIHA).

The unions said that they would commence a nation-wide strike if the government failed to give a counter-offer to their demands.

“We have been holed up in a meeting since morning to no fruition, no solution was arrived at because we were hoping that IPUCCF would come with a counter offer but the council has nothing,” KUSU General Secretary Charles Mukhwaya said.

Mukhwaya said the three unions gave their CBA proposal to the IPUCCF on March 3 last year but were yet to get a counter-proposal to date.

He noted that the CBA had been in limbo since July 2010 when the workers last got a salary increment.

“We are telling our members to be ready to down tools starting Monday next week if the government will not have given us a counter offer,” he stated.

He said the unions wanted a counter offer based on their last proposal.

He indicated that among the things demanded in their proposal was a new grading structure and salary harmonisation.

Mukhwaya observed that salary discrepancies were a major issue in public varsities.

His KUDHEIHA counterpart, Albert Njeru said members would not relent until the government through IPUCCF gave a pre-bargained CBA.

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