Three weeks into the lecturers strike, the game seems to have become one of hard stances with lecturers last week threatening to stay out of classes for a year if they need to and now treasury saying a counter offer on the lecturers’ salaries will only come after job evaluation has been done.
Lecturers block new job grading system
According to the Treasury, a court case by lecturers stopping the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) from concluding the job evaluation had made it hard for the government to determine what to give them.
As Nation reports, University lecturers in August blocked through court the implementation of the new job grading system because it ranked administrators with less education above them in the pay scale.
Under the new grading system, degree-holder administrators such as the university librarian and finance officers were to earn more than senior lecturers with PhD qualifications.
Nation further reports Treasury CS Rotich saying a staff audit must be done at the universities to establish the employee numbers amid suspicion of ghost workers. This is also tied to a financial audit to determine how universities spend funds from the Treasury and internal sources like students fees.
Rotich advised lecturers and universities to come up with return to-work agreements to allow time for talks which according to him may take two to three months.
Who will table a counter-proposal?
The reason lecturers went on strike on March 1st was that vice-chancellor, the education ministry and treasury had failed to present them with a counter-offer on proposals they made on their 2017-2021 salaries and allowances.
According to the lecturers and other university workers unions, for them to even agree to sit and negotiate on getting back to teaching, a counter-proposal would have to be on the table.
The Employment and Labour Relations Court may be the saviour here as on the 16th of this month, the court ordered vice chancellors and universities to present a counter-proposal for the 2017-2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement to the Labour Cabinet secretary within 30 days.