Nairobi, KENYA: The government has promised to deliberate on the Lecturers strike within a short period of time in order to have a permanent solution.
Lecturers strike which has lasted for almost three weeks now, has been reported to have paralyzed and crippled learning in government universities.
Addressing the media outside the Ministry of Education offices at Jogoo house on Wednesday, Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed, said that she has received the petition by the Lecturers, urging the unions to give them more time to come up with a long-lasting solution.
“I’m still a new minister and they have given us a petition. We had a useful meeting with the union and we are going to discuss the petition which details the demands with other government agencies.” Said Amina.
The CS added that they will look for a permanent solution so that going forward they will not afford other perennial strikes from the unions again.
She further said that, they will be seating down as the government and later call lecturers leaders in due time to sign the CBA deal, adding that the government cares for the students by enabling them finish schools on time.
Earlier, the Universities Academic Staff Union UASU, organised a demonstration from the University of Nairobi to parliament building and later to the Ministry of Education to deliver their petition to the Education CS.
Addressing the media at the Demonstrations, secretary general for UASU Constantine Wesonga cited that, they will not accept anything less by the government than the signing of the CBA deal.
Wesonga said that they were earlier approached by the Vice Chancellors with sh6.8 billion in order to call off the strike but refused on the grounds that it does not count in anyway.
However, Wesonga gave an ultimatum of 48 hours to the VCs to remit their statutory deductions without delays.
Lecturers yesterday (Tuesday) sought Parliament’s intervention to help bring the government to the negotiating table for their 2017-2021 CBA.
They want Sh.38 billion factored into the 2018/19 budget to cater for pension, medical insurance, car loans, mortgages and salaries which they said are grossly distorted.
“We appeal to Parliament to increase capitation of public universities. Delay of salaries has become common,” Universities Academic Staff Union secretary general Constantine Wasonga said.
He asked the Education Committee of the National Assembly to push public universities to release Sh3.56 billion for pension under two lapsed CBAs.
He said the universities did not remit Sh1.56 billion and Sh.2 billion to retirement benefits under the 2010-2013 and 2013-2016 CBAs, respectively.
Wasonga told the committee that lecturers are overworked and accused Vice Chancellors of high-handedness saying, they often ignore their advice and dismissed VCs’ calls for them to abandon the strike.