Court Declines to halt the Lecturer’s Strike

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lecturers, dons, strike

The Employment and Labour Relations Court has declined Inter-Public Universities Councils Consultative Forum ( IPUCCF’s) request for Orders stopping the Lecturers’ Strike.

Justice Onesmus Makau has instead deferred his ruling on IPUCCF’s Application to next Friday, 16th March 2018.The Inter-Public Universities Councils Consultative Forum sought the orders to stop lecturers from taking part in, calling or inciting others to take part in “unprotected strike” or any form of industrial action, pending the conclusion of a suit it filed.

In the affidavits before the court, the forum states that the lecturers issued a seven-day strike notice to the council heads of 31 public universities who are also members of the IPUCCF.

“The lecturers did not give grounds for the strike,” it said, adding they have been having negotiations.The forum has taken legal action against the Universities Academic Staff Union (Uasu) in a case in which the Attorney-General, the Salaries and Remuneration Commission, ministries of Education and Labour and the National Treasury are listed as interested parties.

The forum is also accusing the union of acting in bad faith saying that its actions would sabotage or hamper harmonious ongoing negotiations on salary review with regards to the 2017-2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Striking university lecturers on Thursday met with the Senate Committee on Education where they vowed not to relent until the government and the Inter-Public Universities Consultative Council Forum (IPUCCF) table a 2017- 2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement counter proposal and have it signed and implemented urgently.

The University Academic Staff Union (Uasu) and the Kenya Universities Staff Union (Kusu) have also indicated some universities of deducting tax, pensions and medical insurance every month but not remitting to the relevant agencies.The unions have vowed to go to court to claim third-party deductions amounting to billions of shillings.

“We are instructing all our chapters to go to court to sort out this mess,” Uasu Secretary General Constantine Wasonga told the senators.

Wasonga said the effects of universities failing to remit the deductions was leading to university workers suffering.

“A professor is told he cannot be treated medically because his employer has not paid money; workers cannot get loans from their co-operative societies; this is causing us embarrassment,” he said.

Co-operative society savings deductions and bank loans are also said not to be remitted. As a result, the affected university staff cannot access medical services or loans.

The senate education committee was also informed that Moi University owed workers about Sh600 million in third-party deductions. The unions further said that Technical University of Kenya owed some agencies more than Sh200 million.

On the strike, Uasu and Kusu said several false starts in negotiation meetings for the new collective bargaining agreement covering the 2017-2021 period, as well as empty promises from the Government had pushed them to the streets.

The strike come even as the industrial action continues to paralyse learning in public universities for the second week running

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