The Employment and Labour Relations Court yesterday declared the on-going lecturers’ strike illegal and unprotected ordering the striking lecturers to get back to work by 8 AM Monday.
“In my view of my findings herein that the strike is not in compliance with the mandatory procedure provided by the Labour Relations Act,” said Justice Makau.“I allow requests of the universities to stop the ongoing strike.” the judge said.
The strike which commenced on March 1st paralyzing learning in 31 public universities was called by the Universities Academic Staff Union (UASU) who accuse vice-chancellors of not taking negotiations on the 2017-2021 CBA since they haven’t tabled a counter-proposal.
Vice-chancellors sued UASU claiming their strike is illegal and is derailing talks.
The strike is by employees from University Academic Staff Union (UASU), Kenya University Staff Union (KUSU) and Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotels, Educational Institutions, Hospitals and Allied Workers (KUDHIDHA).
The Inter-Public Universities Council Consultative Forum (IPCCF) representing the VCs argues that students are in the middle of school sessions and the strike will cause disruptions, frustrations, hamper reasonable attendance to class as well as examinations and interfere with the whole academic calendar of universities.
“It is imperative and of urgency that this court issues an injunction against the industrial action called for by UASU as it is unlawful and will disrupt the forum’s operations unjustifiably as well as set a bad precedent for industrial relations,” IPCCF said.
The judge, in addition, ordered that the VCs offer a counter-proposal to the Labour Cabinet Secretary within 30 days and also asked vice chancellors and universities not to victimize any of the staff who participated in the strike.