University workers insist strike still on despite court order

University workers insist strike still on despite court order

Two university workers’ unions have warned the government against going to court to forestall the pending strike.

Universities Academic Staff Union (UASU) Secretary General, Constantine Wasonga, vice-chairman, Joseph Mberia, and Kenya University Staff Union (KUSU) Treasurer, James Makori, said nothing short of implementation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) will avert the industrial action.

Speaking at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) where they met union members, the officials said the government had resorted to using the courts to curtail workers’ pay demands as witnessed in the doctors’ strike.

“We are telling the government that we shall not budge even if they go to court in an attempt to stop the strike. We shall not obey any court order unless it shall be compelling the government to pay our dues,” said Mberia.

The unions have issued a seven-day strike notice which expires on Thursday, January 19 threatening to withdraw their labour if the 2013-2017 CBA is not implemented.

Wasonga said the last CBA for university workers was in 2010-2012 and that there has been no salary increment since 2013.

“We are giving the government a window of opportunity to pay our dues and avert the strike. They have been delaying negotiations thinking the union will forego the 2013-2017 salary deal.”

He said university workers want their salaries to be harmonized with those of their peers in government and the private sector.

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