D-DAY ON JAN 20

TUM student leaders warn of consequences if lecturers go on strike

Universities told to also respect students and treated them fairly

In Summary

• 'Students are punished severely when they go on strike, yet nothing is done to lecturers when they resort to industrial action.'

• The UASU cites non-implementation of the 2017-2021 Comprehensive Bargaining Agreement for the strike set to start on January 20.

                           

Technical University of Mombasa student leaders want action taken against lecturers who boycott teaching for whatever reason.

They said students are punished severely when they go on strike, yet nothing is done to lecturers when they resort to industrial action.

Yesterday, they warned of unspecified consequences should the planned January 20 lecturers’ strike take place.

They expected their lectures to start on Monday but none of the teachers turned up. TUM opened on January 6 for the second semester of the 2019/2020 academic year. 

Kenya Universities Students Organisation deputy president Eugene Owino told the Star students and their parents have invested heavily in their education.

“What irks us is that when these lecturers go on strike, nothing is done to them but when we students go on strike, we are punished severely. This is unacceptable,” Owino said.

The students' sports and entertainment secretary Jacklinus Otiato called on President Uhuru Kenyatta, ODM leader Raila Odinga and Education CS George Magoha to intervene.

“We are here to learn and that is why we reported on the opening day. But the lecturers now want to waste us,” Otiato said.

In the strike notice, the University Academic Staff Union secretary-general Constantine Wasonga cited non-implementation of the 2017-2021 Comprehensive Bargaining Agreement signed last October through which the 30,000 lecturers in public universities would enjoy increased perks.

The first payment was set for November last year but this has since been pushed to July this year.

A last-minute cancellation of a meeting between Magoha and the Uasu officials over the matter set for January 9 compounded the matter.

 Owino and Otiato said it is time universities respected students and treated them fairly.

Owino said: “Taita University suspended 15 students including all student leaders for going on strike. Pwani University expelled three student leaders and suspended another three over a strike. At Egerton University students are forced to pay Sh17,000 before being re-admitted after a strike. It is unfair.”

Otiato said they will march from Mombasa to Nakuru in protest against the treatment of Egerton students and in solidarity with the students.

“University managements should stop expelling, suspending or overcharging students because of strikes,” Otiato said.