UASU threatens to strike over withdrawn allowances

Wednesday, September 9th, 2020 00:00 |
UASU members yesterday issued a strike notice in support of the ongoing work boycott at the University of Nairobi College of Health Science campus. Photo/PD/FILE

University Academic Staff Union yesterday issued a seven-day strike notice to the management of University of Nairobi for withdrawing allowances for lecturers teaching interns at the Kenyatta National Hospital.

UASU Secretary-General Constantine Wasonga warned that lecturers at the health sciences college have already started withdrawing teaching services, a situation that may delay the planned graduation of intern doctors and specialists this year.

“The objective of the withdrawal of services is to fight for the immediate and unconditional reinstatement of the Clinical Allowances whose payment was stopped unilaterally by the University of Nairobi in complete disregard of employment and labour laws,” he said.

University of Nairobi Vice Chancellor Prof Stephen Kiama, over the weekend, stopped the payment of lecturers’ clinical allowances based on a list submitted to him by the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) management.

UASU termed the withdrawal of allowances as erroneous, noting that the disbursement of allowances to select individuals was unjust.

“The unions have now seen the list, and it is a troubling document. The list contains doctors who died a long time ago and some who already left service; while excluding those who are currently in active service,” the statement read in part.

Wasonga also accused the university management of failing to provide the medical staff with Personal Protective Equipment PPEs.

He further protested what he termed as discrimination and disrespect of academic staff at the University of Nairobi, further calling for the resignation of the institution’s Vice Chancellor pending an investigation into the withdrawal of the allowances.

According to the National Chair UASU Muga Kolale, Kiama has been making decisions unilaterally.

“We have always said we be consulted when VCs are appointed but they never listen to us,” he said.

Kiama, however, dismissed the claims saying he will not be distracted from performing his duties as the VC.

“I am the VC and no one will intimidate me. Side shows don’t have a place in our administration.”

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