Mombasa varsity, union lock horns over medical cover for couples
The Technical University of Mombasa is locked in a standoff with the University Academic Staff Union over remittance of medical insurance for couples working at the institution.
At least 30 couples have accused the institution of denying them equal benefits for medical insurance cover.
The university reviewed payments of medical cover to its married staff and stopped remitting payments for both partners. Instead, it started catering for one spouse.
The decision has sparked a standoff between the affected unions including the Kenya University Staff Union (KUSU), University Academic Staff Union (UASU) and Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotels, Educational Institutions, Hospitals and Allied Workers.
University Academic Staff Union TUM chapter chairman Dennis Oloo demanded that the institution’s leadership reverse the decision with immediate effect and reinstate full medical cover of staff who are married in line with the statutory rights and Collective Bargaining Agreements.
“Couples working here are discriminated against in terms of medical cover. We feel our members’ rights to medical cover are being violated,” Oloo said.
However, TUM Vice-Chancellor Prof Laila Abubakar maintained that it was illogical for the university to continue paying double premiums to married persons, terming it a waste of resources at a time when the institution is experiencing serious financial challenges.
“When we were reviewing, we established that we have been paying double medical covers to the couples thus losing a lot of money. Why should the university to lose money by making double payments. We cannot continue like that,” said Abubakar.
He added that as a result of the new measures, the university has saved close to Sh6 million after reviewing the double payments.