University staff and the government have traded blame on the ongoing strike that has paralysed learning in public universities for a month now.
Appearing before the National Assembly’s Education Committee on Thursday, the two sides clashed on why the job boycott has persisted and why the government has failed to counter the workers’ CBA proposal.
National Treasury Principal Secretary Kamau Thugge said a case lodged by the teaching staff on job evaluation was to blame for delays in giving them a counter-offer.
However, University Academic Staff Union (Uasu) secretary-general Constantine Wasonga said CBA talks cannot be linked to the contentious job evaluation.
Dr Wasonga said Uasu will only call off the industrial action once a counter-offer has been tabled.
University Education Principal Secretary Japheth Ntiba said lack of commissioners at the Salaries and Remuneration Commission had made it hard to table a counter-offer.
Vice chancellors Committee chairman Francis Aduol said the Education ministry and the National Treasury had not authorised them to table an offer to university staff.
He said a staff audit was done last year and could be used for to give the staff the counter-offer they have been demanding.
The committee chaired by Tinderet MP Julius Melly directed the parties to go back to the negotiating table and resolve the issue.
“Students are suffering as no learning is going on. Let’s resolve this issue,” said Mr Melly.
But Mr Thugge insisted that any talks will be based on advice of SRC.
He warned that any attempt to bypass SRC will be catastrophic for the government and universities.
Dr Wasonga said they are ready for talks at any time provided a counter-offer is tabled.