Staff boycott begins over ongoing salary dispute

Students in public universities are set to stay home even longer after lecturers went on strike to push for a KES5.2 billion (US$50 million) salary agreement. Universities had closed for the 26 October repeat presidential election, and last Wednesday the Universities Academic Staff Union national executive council approved the withdrawal of its 27,798 academic staff, writes Augustine Oduor for the Standard.

Secretary General Constantine Wasonga accused universities of refusing to adjust workers' salaries to the new brackets negotiated under the 2013-17 collective bargaining agreement.
Universities, however, said the strike was premature. Inter-Public Universities Councils Consultative Forum Chairman Paul Kanyari said on Thursday that talks were still ongoing. “The promise is there. We are negotiating and trying to get them to understand,” said Kanyari.

The stalemate grew as it emerged the government was yet to release capitation dues needed to move workers' pay slips upwards in line with the signed salary deal. Vice-chancellors of public universities said earlier they were experiencing a financial gap that could not allow them to effect new salary brackets.
Full report on the Standard Digital site