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December 16, 2018

Lecturers reject government's Sh6.8 billion offer to end strike

Lecturers kick off demonstrations, from the University of Nairobi graduation square, over the government's failure to table a counter offer to their 2017-21 Collective Bargaining Agreement, March 14, 2018. /EMMANUEL WANJALA
Lecturers kick off demonstrations, from the University of Nairobi graduation square, over the government's failure to table a counter offer to their 2017-21 Collective Bargaining Agreement, March 14, 2018. /EMMANUEL WANJALA

Lecturers have rejected the Sh6.8 billion purportedly offered by the Vice Chancellors' Committee for them to go back to work.

The dons on Wednesday kicked off peaceful protests over the government's failure to table a counter offer to the 2013-21 CBA.

The lecturers had told the National Assembly Education committee that they want Sh38 billion as the cost of the CBA to be implemented in three phases.

"What is the Vice Chancellors Committee? We only recognise and negotiate with IPUCCF. Hiyo Sh6.8 billion wapeleke huko (translates directly to 'let them take that Sh6.8 billion far away')," Uasu Secretary General Constantine Wasonga said. "Where is the money if they say they have offered us?"

Wasonga accused Education CS Amina Mohamed of being insensitive to their plight by concentrating only on basic education matters.

"We saw Amina in Maasai Mara University and she was talking about basic education. She needs to know that we are not primary school teachers. We are lecturers."

Wasonga further said they are disturbed that two weeks after dons kicked off their work boycott, the CS has never commented on it.

"We are going to march to her office at Jogoo House and stay put until she comes out," he said.

The official further issued a 48-hour ultimatum for the VCs of public universities to remit their pension and statutory contributions.

IPUCCF told the House committee that it hasn't been able to engage the dons in talks since the ministry hasn't responded on the parameters for this.

VCs committee chair proof Francis Aduol however said it's highly unlikely that Sh38 billion will be available.

"CBAs are always implemented in phases. It's not like we are going to have all the money, we can only get Sh6.8 billion per financial year," Aduol told the Julius Melly-led committee.

Read: Court declines to stop lecturers' strike

Also read: Don’t meddle in our affairs, lecturers tell VCs’ committee

Related: Varsity dons on strike over delayed pay rise

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