Wednesday, March 12, 2014
By Nation Reporter
Staff in public universities across the country downed their tools Wednesday, despite a Tuesday court order halting the strike.
At the University of Nairobi’s Main Campus all lecture halls were empty; the library and administration offices were closed when Nation.co.ke visited the university at about 10am.
There was no activity going on at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) main campus in Juja. The universities' academic staff union chapter secretary Joseph Mberia said the strike was on as they had not received the court order halting the strike.
Reports indicated that no lectures were going on in Egerton University, Nakuru County, Laikipia and Maasai Mara University campuses, Moi University in Eldoret and Masinde Muliro University in western Kenya.
All 1,500 lecturers and non-teaching staff in Moi University boycotted their work, with the chairman of University Academic Staff Union (Uasu) Moi University saying they would not resume classes or go back to their offices until their issues are resolved.
The staff had converged at the university grounds, before they divided themselves into two groups. They said they would storm classes and offices to ensure that no learning took place.
At Egerton, staff union officials were set to give a news conference regarding the strike.
Uasu and Kenya University Staff Union (Kusu, are demanding Sh3.9 billion for their salaries and house allowance, money which they allege has been diverted by universities’ vice chancellors.
The money is part of a Collective Bargaining Agreement signed between the lectures and the universities in 2012 that saw the dons win Sh7.8 billion for salary increment and enhancement of house allowances.
The strike could adversely affect learning for 500,000 students undertaking various courses at certificate, degree, masters and PHD levels via regular and parallel programmes.