SRC Opens Talks With Lecturers On 2021–2025 CBA
The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) has initiated talks with universities on 2021–2025 collective bargaining agreements (CBAs).
Universities are still using the 2017–2021 CBA due to the two-year delay.
The CBAs should have been signed by June 30, 2021, but a dispute over compensation for 2017–2021 delayed the talks.
The SRC has permitted universities to revise lecturer wages based on signed CBAs.
Due to financial instability, public universities can’t pay instructors based on signed salary packages, causing debt.
Public universities have invited Universities Academic Staff Union (Uasu) chapters to negotiate following an SRC communiqué.
In one letter, the University of Nairobi invited the union to negotiate.
The university committed to fighting professors’ demands in a letter written by acting registrar Bernard Njuguna.
“This is to inform you that we have now received an advisory from the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) via a memo ref SRC/TS volume 1(40) dated September 2, 2022 on negotiations for an internal Collective Bargaining Agreement with Universities Academic Staff Union (Uasu”),” the letter to Dr Wekesa reads in part.
Uasu national secretary-general Constantine Wasonga protested the SRC’s proposal to public universities to consider only non-monetary CBAs last week.
“Your advice to universities to negotiate only non-financial items in the internal CBAs promotes internal and external inequality brought about by payment of different allowance rates for employees in the same grades represented by the same union,” said Dr Wasonga.
Dr. Wasonga highlighted that the SRC denied university CBAs.
Cooperative University, Egerton University, Kibabii University, Laikipia University, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, Moi University, Murang’a University, Rongo University, South Eastern University of Kenya, Taita Taveta University, Technical University, University of Eldoret, and the University of Kabianga are affected.
Dr. Wasonga said institutions manage CBAs at two levels: nationally and locally.
IPUCCF and the union negotiate basic wages and housing allowances at the national level.
Every university negotiates with the union on commuters, leave, passage, baggage, daily subsistence, professional risk, book, and medical benefits.
The SRC issued a 2019 directive to universities on public service collective bargaining.
“Non-compliance to the above circular by universities has created delays in CBA negotiations, leading to the lapse of CBAs without negotiations hence creating a vacuum,” said Dr. Wasonga.
On June 30, the 2017–2021 CBA expired.
Uasu’s 2020 CBA proposal requests a 152% raise for lecturers.
The union suggested a 75% wage raise for the highest-paid lecturer to Sh494,415.
Uasu proposed that the lowest-paid lecturer receive Sh145,702 by June 30, 2025.
The current CBA (2017–2021) pays graduate and research assistants Sh57,729 and professors Sh283,087.
Uasu advocated raising university academic staff’s retirement age from 70 to 75. The union recommended a professional allowance of Sh6,000 to Sh60,000 per job group.
In a letter last week, Dr. Wasonga warned the union would oppose any agreement to deny academic personnel a pay raise.
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The union is reluctant to discuss a CBA without a reassessment of allowances. Our worries require your immediate response.
Dr. Wasonga stated ignoring them could cause industrial unrest.