Kenyan university lecturers marched in Nairobi Tuesday to demand a comprehensive wage restructuring and to ask Parliament to intervene in the deadlocked salaries negotiations.
The members of the University Academic Staff Union (UASU) marched on the streets of Nairobi to Parliament to present a petition to Members of Parliament (MPs), according to a member of the Union.
“We want them to match our salaries with those of other civil servants,” said Fred Sawenja, UASU Member representing the Technical University of Kenya (TUK) during the demonstration.
The University lecturers have been on strike since Jan. 20 to demand the implementation of a 2013-2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), defining the salaries and allowances for members.
“We chose to petition parliament. We want them to intervene and bring this strike to an end. We want our salaries to be restructured and placed under the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC), a government body tasked with making decisions on the salaries of all state workers,” Sawenja said.
The university lecturers said the government wants to avoid its previous commitment to pay the lecturers and to designate them to the right department of government.
Sawenja said the lack of a proper proposal from the Inter-Public Universities Council, an independent body which represents the government as the employer of the university lecturers, on what the lecturers should be paid led to the current strike by the University lecturers.
“Our own management has been taking us in circles. They were not willing to negotiate that is why we issued the seven-day strike notice. The Universities Council sought to declare our strike illegal.”
The lecturers said they would not accept minimal pay rise but would prefer to be designated as public servants and be absorbed into the mainstream civil service for ease of their salaries management.
“We want the issue of salaries addressed because it is affecting the quality of teaching at all our public universities,” Sawenja told Xinhua. Enditem