University lecturers have now tabled their salary demands to the Ministry of Labour as directed by the High Court in proposals that will see their pay jump five-fold to Sh1.5 million.
The lecturers through their union — Universities Academic Staff Union (Uasu) — said the pay jump is in line with inflation and the years their pay has remained frozen.
The union want full professors paid between Sh999,030 and Sh1.5 million a month up from the current range of Sh170,681 to 248,898 with associate professors pay quoted at between Sh740,020 and Sh1,157,666 from Sh145,441 and Sh203,605.
The Chief Economist at the Ministry of Labour is now expected to go through the Uasu demands and file an economic report in court at the time when reduced student intake has hit public universities cash flows.
Justice Byram Ongaya has since directed that the matter comes up for hearing on September 23 and that the Labour ministry report be filled within 60 days.
In their proposal, the lecturers want other perks including house, baggage, relocation, book and academic allowances enhanced.
“The rates are comparable to the rates paid to certain public sector employees (for example, the legislators currently earn a house allowance of Sh250,000 per month on top of a housing grant, which professors have no access to),” says Uasu Secretary-General Constantine Wasonga.
At Sh1.5 million, the professors will earn more than President Uhuru Kenyatta who has a consolidated pay of Sh1.45 million.
The government is currently working on a plan to merge the universities and create institutions that are stable financially.
The push for additional pay comes as universities struggle to meet their obligations following reduced intake, adversely affecting the lucrative parallel degree programmes in which students paid fees based on market rates.
The union is proposing that a graduate assistant now earning Sh83,598 should earn between Sh195,656 and Sh306,006. Pay for lecturers earning between Sh99,409 and Sh140,683 should rise to between Sh406,050 and Sh635,097 while senior lecturers earning Sh112,038 to Sh159,720 get Sh546,163-Sh857,384.
The lecturers also want hardship allowance of between Sh17,000 and Sh60,000.
while all academic staff should be entitled to examination allowance of Sh50,000.
Last year in May, the lecturers were forced to give up their 78-day strike and resume work without a cent after the government declined to their salary demands.
The lecturers had put forward a Sh38 billion four-year salary proposal but were given a 1.75 per cent salary offer which translated to Sh3.6 billion for four years, meaning that the least paid worker was to get a yearly increase of Sh53 and the highest — a professor — an increase of Sh1,000 a year.
However, the lecturers rejected the offer and moved to court.