Education CS Fred Matiang’i has asked university unions to suspend the ongoing lecturers strike until March 1, pending negotiations.
Talks will be completed in that period, Matiang’i said during the Chancellors Convention in Nairobi on Thursday.
“I have asked all university councils to cease anything that will jeopardise the negotiation process,” he said.
Matiang’i also directed all public university councils to fully play their roles during the negotiations that will begin next Monday.
He asked Vice Chancellors not to take any disciplinary action against the lecturers.
Uasu secretary general Constantine Wasonga said he will convene a special meeting on the CS’s request to suspend the strike.
Lectures in public universities had resumed as salary talks between the institutions and unions’ representatives continued.
Ratemo Michieka, chairman of the Inter-Public Universities Consultative Council Forum, said the talks with unions started on January 6, through a Joint Negotiation Committee in Nakuru.
Lecturers began the strike on January 19 but a court order stopped them and ordered negotiations.
University employees have been pushing for the conclusion of the 2013-17 CBA for three years without success.
The unions have demanded that the implementation of the CBA be backdated to July 1, 2013. But they fear that by the end of March, the CBA will not be factored into the 2017-18 budget.
The unions are demanding that the least paid lecturer, earning Sh99,802, gets Sh350,000.
They want a professor, now earning Sh211,753, paid Sh1.9 million a month.
Michieka said they have involved the Education and Treasury ministries more than five times since January 6.