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BY KORIR JUMA,NAIROBI,24TH FEB 2018-Learning in public universities across the country could be halted by in a week’s time if the threat by The Kenya Universities Staff Union (Kusu) is anything to go by.This is after the union on Saturday issued a seven-day strike .
Kusu accused the government of deliberately refusing to table a counter proposal on the 2017-2021 collective bargaining agreement (CBA).
On Saturday, Kusu Secretary-General Charles Mukhwaya announced that university workers will down their tools from Thursday if the government and university councils do not cooperate with the union.
“Failure to attend to the demand, all Kusu members in public universities and their constituent colleges will withdraw their labour and will not resume duty until the 2017-2021 CBA shall have been successfully negotiated and implemented,” he said.
According to Dr Mukhwaya, the union met the Inter-Public Universities Councils’ Consultative Forum (IPUCCF) on Friday to receive the counterproposal as promised on February 14, but the council still asked for more time.
He said they started their negotiation meetings on January 19 and have held four unsuccessful meetings.
“The negotiations were scheduled to be concluded on February 28… [We have] only four days remaining meaning that if we don’t sign the new CBA our demands will not be factored in the 2019-2020 budget in July,” he said.
In their proposal, the union wants a 150 percent salary increase and 100 percent housing allowance for its members to cater for the increasing demands for the period of four years.
The union said they handed over their proposal to the university councils in 2016 and allowed them and the government sufficient time to prepare a counter-offer.
The latest notices comes just days after Uasu issued a strike notice and said members would not relent until an agreement on the CBA is reached.The union now says the government must honor the agreement.
KUSU notice comes just three days after the Universities Academic Staff Union (Uasu) also issued theirs.