Lecturers close to agreement on return to work formula
19 March 2014, 20:23
Nairobi - Striking lecturers are close to an agreement on a return to work formula as the ongoing strike continues to stifle learning in public universities.
The strike, which has entered its third week has paralysed learning in public universities and caused havoc for university administrations over their learning schedule.
Lecturers are demanding sums of upto KES 3.7 Billion in terms of salaries and bonuses which they say they need to be paid by the government as agreed in a collective bargaining agreement CBA last year.
They accuse university Vice Chancellors of sitting on the money and denying them their legitimate rights.
Talks over a return to work formula have been ongoing after the two lecturers unions University Academic Staff Unions UASU and Kenyatta University Staff Union KUSU failed to follow a court order stopping them from going on with the strike.
The two unions say that they will not follow the order because they are fighting for legitimate concerns which has forced the government on the negotiation table.
The ministry of education, labour ministry, university representatives as well as the unions have been in negotiations over a timetable over which the government will pay the money owed to the lecturers after it admitted it could not foot the bill in a one off payment.
According to sources privy to the negotiations, the two sides have agreed to a formula but the sticking point is the amount to be paid in each installment with the unions wanting over 30% of the amount paid immediately.
KUSU secretary Charles Mukhwaya admitted that they were negotiating but was not drawn into a possible end date for the strike.
" We are talking about a solution and are involved in negotiations. Nothing has been agreed as yet but we hope something will materialize soon, he said.
But with a solution not yet on the table, the strike goes on, with students suffering the most from delays in timetables and the inevitable crash schedule in-case of a return to class.
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