Lecturers demand money in accounts to call off strike

Uasu secretary-general Constantine Wasonga during the press briefing.  PHOTO | dennis onsongo | NMG
Uasu secretary-general Constantine Wasonga during the press briefing. PHOTO | dennis onsongo | NMG 

University lecturers Wednesday vowed to continue with their strike amid talk of divisions in the don’s union on when to call it off.

Some officials of Universities Academic Staff Union (Uasu) want the strike called off after Treasury agreed to release Sh5.28 billion for additional lecturers pay while others insist the boycott should only end once cash is wired to the tutors’ accounts.

Lecturers at public universities have been on strike since November 1, accusing the government of reneging on a March pay deal that offered them a 17.5 per cent pay increase and a 3.9 per cent jump in housing allowances.

After more than five hours of meeting at a Nairobi hotel, Uasu secretary-general Constantine Wasonga, chairman Muga K’olale and vice-chairman Joseph Mberia maintained that they are united.

“If you try to isolate the chairman and vice-chairman, you will not succeed,” warned Dr Wasonga during a press briefing that was attended by officials from 31 public universities.

He accused the government of running press adverts on the pay deal without showing the lecturers evidence of cash wired to the public universities.

“We are ready for talks, but only if the government is serious,” said Dr Wasonga, adding that universities were frustrating lecturers through intimidations and letters threatening them with the sack.

Universities have demanded that the lecturers call off the strike since the government has agreed to release Sh5.28 billion for their pay demands.

On Monday, a meeting called by universities to end the strike that has paralysed learning in the institutions aborted due to disagreements over its agenda.

It had been called by universities under- Inter-Public Universities’ Councils Consultative Forum.