Learning in public universities could be paralysed again this semester following emerging disagreements between the University Academic Staff Union (Uasu) and their employer over negotiations on the 2017-2021 collective bargaining agreement.
The Inter-Public Universities Councils Consultative Forum of the Federation of Kenya Employers last week postponed the launch of the negotiations to Friday this week, citing unavoidable circumstances.
However, lecturers have objected to the move and have threatened to call another strike should the negotiations not be completed by the end of February.
“Due to unforeseen and unavoidable circumstances, the launch has been rescheduled,” said chairman Isaac Mbeche.
The negotiations were scheduled to start on Wednesday and end on Friday last week.
The lecturers, in a letter to their employer, expressed their concern over failure to adhere to their previously agreed return-to-work formula dated December 9, 2017.
Uasu Secretary-General Constantine Wasonga said the failure may precipitate failure to complete the 2017-2021 CBA negotiations and provoke disharmony in the institutions of higher learning.
The lecturers also want their employer to accept the union’s proposal for the 2017-2021 CBA.
“Uasu promotes industrial harmony and it would be extremely unfortunate if actions by IPUCCF provoke a fresh industrial unrest from February 28,” said Dr Wasonga.
The lecturers were on strike three times last year, paralysing learning in public universities.
They agreed to end the strike after the government released Sh2 billion for payment of their enhanced salaries and house allowances.
The government also agreed to release Sh3.1 billion in seven months’ time for the 2013-2017 CBA.