Egerton University dons boycott work over salary arrears

Egerton Uasu

Uasu Egerton Chapter chairperson Prof Mwaniki Ngari (left) speaks to the press at the Njoro campus on November 9, 2021 after Uasu, Kusu and Kudheiha members boycotted work.   

Photo credit: Francis Mureithi | Nation Media Group

Senior management staff at Egerton University Njoro campus were forced to supervise supplementary examinations after lecturers boycotted work to demand a salary increase.

The university management had to reinforce security around the examination centre on Tuesday after angry workers assembled outside the centre.

Armed policemen lobbed teargas canisters to disperse the workers who regrouped outside the university administration block. The workers condemned the administration for using policemen to administer examinations.

Uasu Chapter secretary Grace Kibue said the lecturers were perturbed by the decision taken by the management to administer the supplementary examinations under tight security.

"The university management wants to show us they can easily replace lecturers with administrators who can work under tight security. Subjecting students to tests supervised by people they don't can be stressful," said Dr Kibue.


She said the workers will continue to fight for their rights and no amount of "threats and intimidation will stop them from agitating for their rights.

"We train people to think freely, and offer solutions to the problems affecting the community but it is sad we cannot solve our problems as a university," said Dr Kibue.

 "Sadly, those who have been appointed by the government to manage the university and ensure the 2017-2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) is implemented have deliberately ignored the court order," said Kusu branch secretary Ernest Wayaya.

He added: "If we are paid our salaries according to the CBA we shall resume work without any further delay, but if the management continues playing mind games, we shall continue demanding our rights."

Police constables

Kusu branch chairman Kipchumba Ruto said: "We are shocked that examinations in Egerton University are supervised and invigilated by policemen, the quality of those examinations are likely to be compromised," said Mr Ruto.

Uasu Chapter chairman Prof Mwaniki Ngari said it was only at Egerton University where the management "thinks professors can be substituted with police constables to supervise and invigilate exams."

"We call upon Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha to reign on a rogue employer and administration that is hell-bent to frustrate workers by not paying them their salaries and pension," said Prof Ngari.

Egerton University Vice-Chancellor Prof Isaac Ongubo Kibwage said the examinations went on smoothly. He said the exams were administered by chairpersons of the departments despite attempts by workers to disrupt the examinations.

"The police barred workers from entering the examination center to avoid a clash between students and lecturers," said Prof Kibwage.