Ukur Yattani invites lecturers to dialogue as he assumes office

Public university lecturers demonstrating across the streets of Nairobi demanding salary increment. PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER NYAMUTA.

Nairobi,KENYA:The new labor and social welfare cabinet secretary Ukur Yattan has urged the lecturers trade union to suspend the strike notices they have issued and so as to pave way for negotiations.

Speaking during the handing over of the labor CS docket from the then cabinet secretary Phyllis Kandie ,Yattan said that there is need for unions to embrace talks and iron out any pending issues that are affecting their members.

“We will work so hard to make sure that our differences doesn’t spill to the streets, i am also appealing now to those ones who have intention to strike, I am a appealing to you to suspend ,lets engage.”Yattan said

He indicated that a series of strikes witnessed yester years will affect the economy of this country urging the aggrieved trade unions to be wary of their actions.

He further warned that Kenya is a competitor in the east African region arguing that escalation of strikes, might scare the investors who might opt to go to the neighboring countries thus hamper Kenya’s economic growth.

On Saturday, The Kenya Universities staff Union (KUSU) issued a seven day strike notice, just three days after the university’s Academic Union UASU issued theirs.

The unions accused the government of deliberately failing to table the counterproposal on the 2017 -2021 bargaining agreement.

The CS said that the ministry will uphold social protection Fund, which is aimed at bringing out some equalization.

“However challenges are, identifying the real needy ones and the manner in which to channel the funds, with people having to travel for tens kilometers, we will use modern money transfer methods.”He said

He pointed that Nssf can’t be left to work in isolation, indicating that the the ministry will fast track the release of retirees fund.

On the other hand Kandie said that during her tenure the ministry has been developing employment statistics, to identify how the labor market has been lately, but is yet to be completed

After the CS docket, Kandie will take up his Belgium ambassadorial post.