Universities Academic Staff Union (Uasu) leadership yesterday rejected the three percent offer on basic salary tabled by the Inter-Public Universities Councils Consultative Forum (IPUCCF) terming it “too little”.
The chapter secretary of Technical University of Kenya Jacob Musembi noted the lack of representation from the parent ministries of Education and Treasury as well as the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) as a clear sign of abandonment by the government.
“It is only through the representation of the three organs that we can have a valid CBA that can be registered in the Employment and Labour Relations Court,” he said.
“The union had rejected this offer earlier and the forum keeps taking us round just to proof that they are engaging the union to end the stalemate,” he added.
Musembi also indicated that the union declined to take Sh300 house allowance which was offered by the forum chaired by Ratemo Michieka.
But Michieka affirmed that they have involved the critical organs of government which have given them a go ahead to engage the unions on the 2013-2017 CBA.
Addressing the press at the Council Chamber of the University of Nairobi, he said the forum will engage each of the three unions separately.
The forum is also scheduled to meet the Kenya Universities Staff Union (Kusu) and Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotels, Educational Institutions, Hospitals and Allied Workers (Kudheiha) which represent non-teaching staff between today and tomorrow.
Michieka who was accompanied by the chairmen of councils of public universities said IPUCCF will continue issuing updates on the status of negotiations.
This happened as Uasu called on Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i to urgently intervene to facilitate a meaningful negotiation and ensure the CBA is factored in the 2017-2018 budget.
In a petition signed by Uasu officials from various institutions of higher learning, they blamed the government for failing to adjust their salaries and house allowances since 2010.
University of Nairobi chapter secretary George Omondi raised concerns that the salaries of academic staff are characterized by large overlaps, stagnations within current grades and poor career progression among others.
“Over the last six years, the value of Kenya shilling has declined while the coast of basic commodities, housing and the cost of living in general has increased,” he said.
Unless the situation is remedied, he added, there is an impending collapse of the higher education sector in Kenya.