Court allows Egerton staff to go on strike


Egerton University Vice-Chancellor Prof Isaac Ongubo Kibwage when he appeared before National Assembly Education Committee at parliament buildings on March 10, 2022. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NMG

The Employment and Labour Relations Court has allowed Egerton University academic staff to go on strike if their employer continues to default on their benefits including salaries.

In a judgment dismissing a petition by the institution, Justice Hellen Wasilwa stated that the university has a duty to show when it is willing to pay the monies owed to staff and that the funds have been factored into the budget cycle.

“I will exercise my discretion and direct that the petitioner (Egerton) should within 120 days being the end and beginning of the budget cycle demonstrate how they are implementing what is in the CBA between them and the union and in default the respondent (union) is free to initiate a fresh strike action after giving the requisite notices as the case may be,” Justice Wasilwa said.

On October 17, 2022, the university sued the Universities Academic Staff Union and the Universities Academic Staff Union Egerton Branch.

When the matter was brought in court the parties requested that it be referred to a conciliator.

Upon listening to both parties the conciliator recommended that the issues raised by Egerton Staff Union were merited and that Egerton University should come up with timelines as to how it is going to make the payments demanded by its staff.

The report written by the conciliator showed that a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) existed between the pair and the disputes were monetary in nature and in the CBA.

Both Egerton and Staff Union were directed to make submissions before the court on the findings and recommendations so that the court can make the final verdict.

The court said the act by Egerton University of making deductions and failing to remit as expected was an offence that is punishable by law.

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