The new pay deal between the government and university lecturers is a welcome first step towards ending long drawn wrangles that have affected learning programmes.
The State has offered to implement the lecturers’ collective bargaining agreement(CBA) in four phases effective July 1,2017. The government had initially planned the pay increase implementation in two phases effective July 2019 but lecturers rejected the offer forcing the universities to go back to the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) for more advice.
According to the deal, a professor currently earning a basic salary of between Sh170,681 and Sh248,898 will effective July 2017 take home at least Sh180,434 and see the amount rise annually to at most Sh283,087 in July 2020.
The lowest paid lecturer (graduate assistant currently earning between Sh46,978 and Sh66,978 will see their take home pay rise to a high of Sh82,552 in July 2020.
Lecturers had in their proposal indicated that graduate assistants should earn between Sh195,656 and Sh306,006. Their union also wanted associate professors to earn between Sh740,020 and Sh1.157,666 while professors’ pay was to be between Sh999,030 and Sh1,562,625.
The pay deal brings relief to thousands of students and guardians who have for years borne the brunt of incessant industrial strikes by lecturers demanding better pay.
We hope the State will honour its commitment and pay up as agreed to avoid further stand offs with the university staff.
And with the improved terms, the lecturers should rise to the occasion and prove their worth to the thousands of students in the various universities.
Multiple audits have shown remarkable drops in the quality of training and research in the institutions of higher learning.
Lecturers have previously cited lack of financial motivation as part of the reasons for the lower quality standards. Some of the lecturers took to moonlighting to shore up their resources amid rising cost of living. It is now upon the lecturers to meet their end of the bargain and restore quality education in the institutions of higher learning and churn out innovative graduates who can thrive in an economy facing numerous challenges such as this one.