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University staff to wait longer for pay rise

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OUMA WANZALA

By OUMA WANZALA
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University staff will have to wait until April or May for a pay hike after Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha maintained that the government does not have money now.

In a meeting with unions representing the staff in Nairobi Wednesday, Prof Magoha told the officials that Sh6.6 billion will be factored in this year’s supplementary budget for their 2017-2021 collective bargaining agreement (CBA). The remaining Sh2.2 billion will be factored into the 2020/2021 budget.

The latest development is a blow to the teaching and non-teaching staff who had hoped for the increase after the CBA was signed last year in October.

Prof Magoha told the union leaders that even though the government signed a deal with them, the money was not factored into this year’s budget.

The CS is now expected to submit a Cabinet paper on the pay hike on January 30.

“We will only get a hike for three years. We have given the government the benefit of doubt but let’s see,” said a union official who attended the meeting.

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The official said the CS explained to them why they should not paralyse learning in universities and instead give dialogue a chance.

Universities Academic Staff Union (Uasu), which had threatened to call the strike, said the final decision will be made by the national executive council.

“We met and discussed the issue but there was nothing new he (Prof Magoha) told us,” said Uasu Secretary General Constantine Wasonga.

Dr Wasonga also added that the issue will be raised in an ongoing case in court over the CBA.

Kenya University Staff Union (Kusu) could not be reached for comments but Secretary General Dr Charles Mukhwaya had earlier on indicated that the union will be more focused on dialogue as opposed to going on strike.

Computations by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) showed the deal was supposed to be for Sh13.8 billion but government agreed with university staff to pay Sh8.8 billion.​



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