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Economy

Lecturers back in court for Sh38bn arrears after measly pay rise

Uasu strike
Members of the Universities Staff Academic Union during a protest on July 3, 2017. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

University lecturers have filed a fresh case seeking over Sh38 billion in salary arrears and other perks spread over four years after the government offered them as little as Sh53 in pay increments

The Universities Academic Staff Union (Uasu) is urging the Employment and Labour Relations Court (ELRC) to compel the Inter-Public Universities Councils Consultative Forum (IPUCCF) to start discussions and implement the collective bargain agreements (CBAs) dated March 30, 2017 and May 17, 2018. They want the universities forced to promote lecturers in line with regulatory guidelines issued in October 2014 even as the suit proceeds in court.

Lecturers say they were duped after the State offered the striking tutors as little as Sh53 in salary increments after nearly 75 days of learning disruption in public universities.

According to a breakdown of a Sh5.4 billion offer spread over four years, the highest annual increment is Sh1,000 awarded to the highest paid professor.

Uasu is asking the court to register the CBA proposals made by the union to the government and Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) dated March 30, 2017.

The union reckons that the State through IPUCCF presented a proposal to increase the lecturers’ salary at a measly 1.25 per cent to 1.75 per cent for the four-year period translating to annual increment of 0.435 per cent.

UASU has accused the State of reneging on the CBAs agreed upon leading to strikes that have crippled and interrupted learning in all the public universities for a long period.

“There is a real danger and likelihood that the continued frustrations of the CBAs negotiations by IPUCCF may result to another strike by Uasu members and negatively affect the education sector hence the need to certify the dispute as urgent and redressed,” says Uasu lawyer Titus Koceyo.

Uasu adds that unless the case is certified urgent and heard expeditiously there is a real danger the members will be denied their unionisable rights.

The lecturers are also demanding services available to other public servants like car loans and higher quality medical insurance.

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