Lecturers give Labour ministry their salary demands

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lecturers' STRIKE

Universities Academic Staff Union and Kenya University Staff Union members protest in the streets of Nairobi, on April 4, 2018. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

OUMA WANZALA

By OUMA WANZALA
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Lecturers have now tabled their salary demands to the Ministry of Labour as was directed by the labour court.

The lecturers through their union- Universities academic staff Union (Uasu) want their salaries tripled citing hard economic times.

The chief economist at the Ministry of Labour is now expected to go through the demands and file an economic report in court.

The economic report to be compiled by the Central planning unit at the Ministry of Labour is now expected to be filed within 60 days.

Justice Byram Ongaya has since directed that the matter come up for hearing on September 23.

In their proposal, the lecturers also want several allowances among them; house allowance, academic and professional allowance for professors and book allowance.

Uasu now in the new proposal want a graduate assistant currently earning Sh83, 598 to earn between Sh195, 656 and Sh306, 006 while assistant currently earning between Sh83, 598 to 118,348 should take home between Sh300,775 and Sh470, 444.

Lecturers earning between Sh99,409 and Sh140,683  the union says should have new salaries of between Sh406,050  and Sh635,097 while senior lecturers earning Sh112,038 to Sh159,720 should now take home between Sh546,163 and Sh857,384.

Uasu also want associate professors whose basic salary is between Sh145,441 and Sh203,605 to now earn Sh740,020 and Sh1.157,666 while professors getting a salary of Sh170,681 to 248,898 should have it increased between Sh999,030 and Sh1,562,625.

On house allowance, Uasu Secretary General Constantine Wasonga says a professor currently getting Sh73, 715 should now get Sh250, 000, associate professor getting Sh66, 344 should be given new house allowance of Sh190, 000 while senior lecturer should get Sh160, 000 instead of the current 58,972.

He adds that a lecturer house allowance should be increased from Sh55, 286 to Sh145, 000, assistant lecturer from Sh51, 601 to Sh135, 000 and graduate assistant from Sh51, 601 to Sh130, 000.

“The rates are comparable to the rates paid to certain public sector employees (for  example, the legislators currently earn a house allowance of Sh250,000 per month on top of a housing grant which professors have no access to),” says Dr Wasonga.

Uasu also want lecturers on first appointment or termination to be paid between Sh35, 000 to Sh45, 000 from the current Sh8, and 800 to 15,500.

Last year in May, the lecturers were forced to give up their 78-day strike and resume work without a cent after the government declined to their salary demands.

The lecturers had put forward a Sh38 billion four-year salary proposal but were given a 1.75 per cent salary offer which translated  to Sh3.6 billion for four years, meaning that the least paid worker was to  get a yearly increase of Sh53 and the highest — a professor —  an increase of Sh1,000 a year.

However, the lecturers rejected the offer and move d to court.

The lecturers also hardship allowance of between Sh60, 000 and Sh17, 100 while all academic staff should be entitled to Examination Allowance of Sh50, 000.

Dr Wasong says,  currently there is significant variation in the level of allowances and benefits payable to academic staff in different public universities, resulting in unfairness in compensation for similar work across the universities.

“To standardise allowances, the union proposes that collective bargaining of all items be negotiated centrally between the union and one body representing the employers,” it adds.





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