Labour court orders lecturers back to class on Monday

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Nairobi, KENYA: Lecturers on strike have been issued with an order to halt their industrial action and resume work starting on Monday.

Labour court Judge Onesmus Makau on Friday ordered the government to offer a counteroffer to the lecturers 2017-21 CBA within 30 days.

“In my view of my findings herein that the strike is not in compliance with the mandatory procedure provided by the Labour Relations Act,” said Justice Onesmus Makau.

The judge further directed the Government to present a counter-proposal for the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) to the Labour Court within 30 days.

The Universities Academic Staff Union called the strike on March 1 as lecturers pushed for a counter-proposal on that Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The industrial action stopped learning in 31 public universities and affected more than 600,000 students.

On March 14, lecturers rejected the Sh6.8 billion purportedly offered by the Vice-Chancellors’ Committee for them to go back to work.

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

On Thursday, Education CS Amina Mohamed blamed their union for the delayed conclusion of CBA negotiations.

She told the National Assembly Committee on Education that the Inter-Public Universities Council Consultative Forum has been unable to engage the dons due to a pending suit and the recent strike. It began on March 1.

The employees are drawn from University Academic Staff Union (UASU), Kenya University Staff Union (KUSU) and Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotels, Educational Institutions, Hospitals and Allied Workers (Kudhiha) had vowed to continue with their strike until the Government responds to issues raised in their 2017-2021 CBA.

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