Court Suspends Egerton University Lecturers’ Strike
The Employment and Labour Relations Court in Nakuru has ordered the suspension of the lecturers’ strike at Egerton University to facilitate negotiations.
In a judgment dated 25 October 2022, Lady Justice Hellen Wasilwa mandated that the institution’s administration and the University’s Academic Staff Union (UASU) engage in negotiation to end the impasse.
Justice Wasilwa added that the court would issue additional guidance on the subject on 1 December 2022.
Last Monday, academics at Egerton University began their strike to protest salary pay cuts of up to 43 percent since 2020.
Learning was paralyzed as the strike entered its second week, compelling the university administration to submit a court petition to end the strike and allow for dialogue.
Approximately 700 staff of the Egerton University branch of the Kenya Universities Staff Union (Kusu) downed their tools after the institution council failed to clear their salary arrears totaling millions of shillings.
Charles Mukhwaya, general secretary of the Kenya Universities Staff Union (KUSU), asserts that the university management has violated the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).
Dr. Mukhwaya said the majority of arrears date back to 2020.
“The chilling suffering of or members, the harrowing pain they have to endure to make ends meet, the horrendous conditions they work in is against the International Labour Organisation (ILO) working conditions to which our dear country is a signatory,” he stated.
Since some time ago, he noted, Egerton University has acquired the reputation of being synonymous with mismanagement according to Mukhwaya.
It began with the nonpayment of full salaries and reached a fever pitch when the 2017-2021 CBA’s basic salaries were not implemented.
Mukhwaya claimed that the Egerton University Council must pay its members’ full wages immediately as one of their requests.
In addition to the reinstatement of negotiated terms and conditions of employment as stated in the internal Collective Bargaining Agreement, he emphasized that all accumulated salary arrears should also be reimbursed (CBA).
He also suggested that the 2013-2017 CBA negotiations and conclusion, which have been ongoing for seven years, must be resolved.