The government has been hit by another industrial crisis following a strike by teaching and non-teaching staff in public universities.
University Academic Staff Union (UASU), Kenya University Staff Union (KUSU) and the Kenya union of domestic, hotels, educational institutions, hospitals and allied workers (KUDHEHIA), who had given the government a one-week notice to address their grievances, have officially kicked of a countrywide strike, paralyzing learning in public universities.
The lecturers are demanding for the implementation of a CBA for 2013-2017 adding that no threats of arrest will intimidate them to back down. This is after an industrial court issued an order barring them from going on strike until a case regarding the issue is mentioned on February 1, 2017.
“The only arrest we fear is cardiac arrest,” said UASU Secretary General Constantine Wasonga.
KUDHEHIA Secretary-General Albert Njeru said the unions have run out of patience, adding that the government has refused to raise their salaries since 2010.
UASU Chairperson Dr. Richard Bosire said lecturers risk being shortchanged should the government fail to sign and implement the CBA by the end of the current financial year.
Among the issues, the Dons want to be addressed is a review of the salary structure to weed out disparities.
The striking Dons now join the doctors who downed their tools in December, paralyzing operations in government hospitals. The doctors have also defied a court order to call off their strike maintaining they will only do so after the government honours the 2013 CBA.