The Universities Academic Staff Union (Uasu) has issued a seven days’ strike notice after Egerton University management failed to stop salary reduction of its members.
Subsequently, the more than 500 academic staff will down their tools on November 4, an eventuality that could paralyse learning at the institution that is facing a myriad of challenges, including leadership and finance.
The strike notice signed by the Uasu national Secretary-General Constantine Wasonga Opiyo and addressed to Vice-Chancellor Prof Rose Awuor Mwonya was issued on Wednesday and.
In the notice, the union said it has opted for industrial action after the university management failed to adhere to the Employment and Labour Relations Court which issued orders barring further reduction of academic staff salaries.
The university has effected a 40 per cent reduction of salaries to academic staff and nearly 1,200 non-teaching staff in a bid to manage its runaway annual wage bill of nearly Sh2.4billion.
The institution is in red and is facing a serious financial challenge which has seen its debt increase and is unable to remit about Sh1.6billion statutory deductions by June 2019.
“Egerton University has not paid academic staff full salaries, arrears and accruing interest, and attempts to have a dialogue to resolve this matter internally have failed,” said Dr Wasonga.
“Uasu members at Egerton shall withdraw their labour and shall not resume duty until their salaries, arrears and accruing interest is paid in full,” read the strike notice
The notice, which has been copied to Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha, Principal Secretary in charge of University Education Simeon Nabukwesi and chairman of the council Luka Hukka Wario, further states that union members will be protesting against unconstitutional and unlawful violation of their rights as enshrined in the constitution under article 41(1), (2) (a) and (5).
“The decision by the Egerton University to illegally deduct our members their salaries is a blatant violation of the universities workers’ fundamental rights and freedoms and Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the employer and the union,” added Dr Wasonga in his communication.