Lecturers vow to carry on with strike over salary demands

Saturday February 18 2017

lecturers strike

University Academic Staff Union members from Moi University demonstrate in Eldoret on January 19, 2017. They have rejected a government offer of Sh10 billion. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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University lecturers have vowed to continue with their strike, now in its fourth week, until the government gives them a bigger offer.

Their decision comes after they rejected Sh10 billion that the government had offered them, saying they do not understand how the State arrived at the figure.

“All lecturers are fully on strike and no one else can call off the boycott except Universities Academic Staff Union. Let everyone beware of fake news,” union Secretary-General Constantine Wasonga said during a press conference in Nairobi.

Dr Wasonga said the strike will be intensified on Monday and urged chapter secretaries from the various universities to take a leading role in mobilising members.

The strike, which started on January 19, has affected learning at 33 public universities across the country, with about 500,000 students left stranded.

More than 8,000 lecturers are participating in the strike.

Dr Wasanga said the Sh10 billion that they rejected was meant to cater for more than 30,312 public university staff.

“For academic staff, the portion of Sh10 billion translates to Sh3.2 per cent compounded increment on basic salary and 1.6 per cent on house allowance,” he said.

He added that Sh2 billion would go to the employer as employees' component of pension contributions yet academic staff are still to contribute pension from a 3.2 per cent basic salary increase.

Dr Wasanga said with statutory deductions and Pay As You Earn, lecturers will be left with very little.

“The union will not tire and will remain restless until our rights are honoured,” he said, adding that lecturers have resolved not to call off the strike until the deal is sealed.

He said lecturers are disappointed by the failure of the government and university managements to table a reasonable counter-offer.

The lecturers said their strike is not politically motivated, noting that once given their dues, they will call of the strike.