Nairobi, KENYA: Lecturers in public schools have declared a strike over what they term as the failure by the government to come to an agreement regarding the Collective Bargaining Agreement of 2017-2021.
In a joint press briefing with the Kenya Medical Practitioners, and Dentist Union KMPDU and Kenya Universities Staff Union KUSU on Thursday, University Academic Staff Union UASU Secretary General Constantine Wesonga, said that learning in the public university will be paralyzed until when the government honours their agreement to end the strike.
He added that this time around they will not negotiate until the end tale of 2017-2018 CBA because university management likes to negotiate until end of the CBA so they can steal their share.
“Lecturers are on strike until the government has negotiated, signed, registered and implemented the CBA proposal,” Wasonga said.
He reckoned that lectures are the only union in the public sector that is still negotiating on 2017-2021 CBA after the other unions came to an agreement 9 months ago.
The secretary-general also blasted the university vice-chancellors committee for meddling in the lecturers’ strike affairs, citing they had no agreement with them in any way.
“I want to ask the vice chancellor committee to stop meddling in our affairs, UASU does not recognize them,” he said.
Wesonga sentiments were echoed by UASU national chairman Muga K’Olale who said the committees are a stumbling block to their negotiation efforts.
“They have been reluctant to give the government the cost of the CBA. Without the cost of the CBA, Treasury CS cannot address the grievances in the universities,” K’olale said.
KMPDU Secretary General Ouma Oluga also declared support for the strike and said the doctors who are lecturers will also withdraw their labour as they are also lecturers.
Olunga added that previously they meet with the cabinet secretary for health Cecil Kariuki who said they are on top of the matter to reach out to the treasury CS Henry Rotich and resolve the matter.
Last year, persistent and prolonged lecturers’ strikes led to the closure of several universities. The dons went on strike three times to push for the signing and implementation of the 2013-17 CBA.
The longest strike lasted 54 days – between January and March – and led to the signing of the CBA on March 13.