Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) staff have threatened to down their tools next week over delayed implementation of 2017/21 national collective bargaining agreement (CBA).
The staff through their unions among them Universities Academic Staff Union (UASU), Kenya Universities Staff Union (KUSA) and Kenya Union of Domestic Hotels, Educational Institutions, Hospitals and Allied Workers (KUDHEHIA) regretted that despite the government releasing Sh 2 billion for implementation of the agreement in this financial year, the university administration has failed to implement it.
Among the Sh 2 billion released by the national government to enhance the payment of public university workers, JKUAT reportedly received Sh 166 million, money that the staff maintained has not reflected in their accounts since their release in July.
Led by UASU chairman Muiga Rugara, they stated that despite 25 public universities having fully implemented the agreement, JKUAT, alongside eight other institutions have not implemented the CBA, prompting fury among staff and lecturers.
Rugara alleged that the university has diverted the CBA money for infrastructural developments and facilitation of students’ tours leaving workers struggling to meet their basic obligations.
Nickson Chege, the chairman in charge of KUSA said that the university staff have been losing between Sh 6,000 to Sh 15,000 monthly, money that they demanded the administration to remit to their accounts before Tuesday next week failure to which they will paralyze activities at the public institution.
He said that a technical committee has been set to look into the issues with urgency to avert interruption of the school calendar given that the students are set to sit their exams from December 3.
James Makori, another unionist, decried that university staff, including professors, have been facing serious hurdles in their operations including riding bicycles to work and eating at the university canteen on credit.
JKUAT, Moi University, Rongo University, Technical University of Kenya, and Egerton University are among the universities that have been accused of failing to implement the CBA.
Others are Kisii University, Embu University, Taita Taveta, and Murang’a University, South Eastern Kenya University (SEKU), Kirinyaga University, Cooperative University, and Dedan Kimathi University.