By Agnes Mwangangi
Public university lecturers are expected to present a petition to the office of the Deputy President asking for the government to consider increasing their salaries by 40 per cent.
The move comes after a closed-door meeting held on Tuesday between the University Staff Academic Union (UASU) and the Inter Public Universities Consultative Council Forum (IPUCCF) resolved to have deductions for the employer’s component of pension contributions removed from an initial offer of ten billion shillings tabled in January.
UASU had cited the inclusion of pension contributions as one of the reason they rejected the initial offer saying it eroded the figure, leaving dons with an insignificant increment of only 3.2 and 1.6 per cent on salaries and house allowance.
The union instead proposed a 30 and 20 per cent increment on the two pay elements in a petition to Parliament, National Treasury and Ministry of Education on February 14.
UASU has now backed down on the demand to have house allowance factored into the 2013-2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) pleading instead for a 40 per cent increase on salaries.
According to a statement released Tuesday night by UASU Secretary General Constantine Wasonga, the IPUCCF is said to have agreed to offer dons an average of 18 per cent salary increment.
Elsewhere, Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) and the Kenya Union of Post –Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) have challenged the government to ensure marginalized learners get quality and accessible education.
The teachers’ unions have raised concern over the state of education in marginalized areas in the country where they say hundreds of thousands of learners are unable to access education citing Lamu near Boni forest, volatile Baringo county and in north eastern where insecurity is high.
KNUT Secreatary General Wilson Sossion challenged the government to beef up security especially in marginalized community zones to ensure education for all.
He also took issue with the learner- teacher ratio in the country giving an example of Kajiado county where more than 1,200 learners in schools do not have teachers due to inequality in distribution of teachers by the Teachers Service Commission.
The union leaders were speaking during a two day workshop in Kitengela, Kajiado County that brought together teachers and union leaders from marginalized and violence prone communities .