Minister says State in talks with dons to avert next week’s strike

Tuesday, January 14th, 2020 00:00 |
Universities Academic Staff Union leaders (from left) secretary general Constantine Wasonga, chairman Muga K’Olale and vice chair Mutura Mberia address the press in Nairobi last week. They threatened to go on strike from January 20. Photo/PD/File

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha yesterday said the government is engaging lecturers to avoid a strike over a pay dispute.

The CS, however, said the government will not be blackmailed with a strike threat.

“We cannot negotiate with the gun at the back of our heads. The moment they go on strike they will have put the first bottleneck to that process so I hope that wisdom prevails. I have engaged some dons and most of them do not want to go on strike,” he said.

He said the government is in the process of addressing the lecturers’ grievances.

Magoha said he is also in talks with the National Treasury to have some of the dues included in the next Supplementary budget.

“We are engaging positively. It does not make sense to go on strike and if you think the strike will make things done faster you are wrong,” said the CS, when he monitored Form One admission process at Moi Girls, Nairobi.

Last week, Universities Academic Staff Union (Uasu) threatened to go on strike starting January 20, if government will not have honoured a Collective Bargaining Agreement signed on October 28, last year.

CBA history

Union secretary-general Constantine Wasonga said the start of a fresh academic year may have to be interrupted, after it emerged that monies meant to cover the 2017/2021 CBA had been diverted.

“We will not take this lying down but we are not surprised because in the history of CBA, none has been implemented without a strike so we are very ready. There will be no classes for public universities,” said he at a press conference in Nairobi last Thursday.

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