World

Blow for USIU as court stops reduction of lecturers pay

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Summary

  • Employment and Labour Relations court has suspended plans by United States International University-Africa (USIU-A) to slash lecturers' pay, pending the determination of petition the tutors have filed.
  • Equally suspended by the court is a decision by the institution to stop remitting the lecturers’ contributions to the pension scheme as contained in a letter sent to them in August.

Employment and Labour Relations court has suspended plans by United States International University-Africa (USIU-A) to slash lecturers' pay, pending the determination of petition the tutors have filed.

Equally suspended by the court is a decision by the institution to stop remitting the lecturers’ contributions to the pension scheme as contained in a letter sent to them in August.

“The applicants will suffer irreparably should they be compelled to take irredeemable salary cuts and have their entire benefits suspended yet they incur personal expenses to carry out or ensure smooth running of the online classes which have normal student enrolment rates with almost zero fee rebates,” the petition reads.

Justice Onesmus Makau certified the case by the 54 lecturers as urgent and directed the institution not interfere with the tutors existing terms of employment or intimidate or dismiss them, pending the resolution of the case.

In the petitions, the lecturers said they are all attending the normal teaching duties, even though the lessons are being conducted virtually. They added that the students still pay full fees and enrolment of new students is going on.

According to the lecturers, the decision was abrupt and it should be stopped to allow for consultations. They said the move to stop contributions to the pension scheme is illegal since the Retirements Benefits Authority has issued a circular dated April 23, 2020 requiring the employer to seek consensus of the members, something which has not been done.

“That it is not open for the respondent to seek to suspend the contributions of the claimants to the Pension scheme yet the claimant are at work and receiving a salary from the respondent with the decision being sought to be undertaken without the concurrence of the claimants and the relevant pension scheme,” the petition stated.