UASU Declares Strike Over CBA Deal

University Academic Staff Union (UASU) has declared a national wide strike after the government reportedly failed to honour the 2013-2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) deal.

Speaking in Nairobi, UASU Secretary General, Constantine Wasonga, declared the strike officially on in all public universities until the government honours the CBA which was signed early this year.

UASU National Executive Committee has resolved with one accord to uplift the suspended UASU strike until the 2013-2017 CBA is implemented in full, noted Wasonga.

He further called upon all members of the Union to withdraw their labour with immediate effect, starting today until when the government will implement the CBA fully.

Wasonga disputed Education Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i’s sentiments that the government had already disbursed Sh 4.7 billion, saying that members of the Union had not received a single cent and insisted that they will not receive the payment in phases.

I challenge the Cabinet Secretary to table any evidence signed by the UASU Executive Council that the payment will be made in phases and further more we will not accept any payment in phases, added Wasonga.

UASU Chairperson, Muga Kolale, echoed Wasonga’s statement, saying that the Union will not negotiate anything until the CBA is paid in fully.

We have resolved to register our total disagreement with underpayment of the CBA as registered at Labour Relations courts early this year over the mode of payment, added Kolale.

It is the second time in a row that dons are having the strike after the first strike which lasted for 54 days was called off after the Union and the government agreed on 17.5 percent increase in basic salary and 3.9 percent increase in house allowance across the board.

The Union is demanding Sh. 10 billion from the government which was supposed to be paid by 30th of June this year.

And following the development, Kisii University Staff Union members have downed their tools protesting government’s failure to implement the CBA.

Led by their Chairman, Geoffrey Ratemo and Secretary General Moses Nyandusi, the unionists announced commencement of the strike at the graduation square today vowing not to resume duty until the government pays sh. 10 billion salary arrears owed to staff in public universities. The CBA was to be implemented by end of last month.

Ratemo said that staff working in the Academic, Health, Finance, Transport and Catering departments had stopped services after realizing their accounts were not credited with the arrears signaling failure to implement the bargaining agreement.

The May agreement should be implemented to the letter. We are tired of being taken around in circles after signing this document following a protracted strike early this year,” declared Ratemo.

Nyandusi accused the government of handling their CBA casually and using delaying tactics saying their salary increment was factored in a supplementary Budget.

The lecturers swore to paralyze all university activities and to extend their wrath to the August 8 General Elections until the government deems it necessary to implement the salary agreement.

Kisii University Students Union Secretary General, Alex Opiyo, appealed to the government to implement the CBA to ensure academic programmes in public universities continue uninterrupted.

Warning that the students would suffer most, Opiyo recalled how the academic semester was affected early this year when programmes were delayed by three months from January, due to a similar strike.

The government should intervene to avoid delaying the end of semester exams scheduled to begin in two weeks’ time, he appealed.

Source: Kenya News Agency