Universities offer lecturers Sh6.8bn in bid to end strike

Striking university lecturers in Nairobi. PHOTO | FILE
Striking university lecturers in Nairobi. PHOTO | FILE 

Universities have offered lecturers Sh6.8 billion, which is less than a fifth of what they are demanding to end the nationwide strike that has disrupted learning for the past 14 days.

The more than 9,000 lectures want Sh38 billion for a pay agreements covering the four years starting July 2017 to 2021.

But the universities reckon they have presented the Sh6.8 billion for State approval. The amount would cover the year to June this year.

The public university lecturers resumed the strike on March 11 over low pay, nearly three months after ending a similar protest.

Appearing before the National Assembly’s Education committee yesterday, Vice-chancellors Committee Chairman Francis Aduol said the money will be used to address concerns raised by lecturers for the 2017/2018 financial year.

“We will work on a budget for subsequent years as we go along. It is significant to note that the projected figure is reasonable when compared with the fact that the Ministry of Education paid into the Financial Year 2017-2018 Sh5.2 billion as a top-up in capitation and to cater for the increase salaries from the 2013-2017 CBAs,” Prof Aduol told the committee chaired by Malulu Injendi (Malava MP).

Prof Aduol said the proposal was with the Ministry of Education and vice-chancellors are waiting for approval before tabling it before lecturers in a bid to end the strike.

“We have to wait for the approval of the Ministry so that we can get the nod for negotiation,” said the chairman who is the Technical University of Kenya vice-chancellor.

He reiterated that the ongoing strike was uncalled for saying the students are bearing the brunt of the industrial action.

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

An earlier strike over pay ended in December after the lecturers said they had reached an agreement with the government for an increase in salaries.