Egerton University staff reject half April salaries

Egerton University Chancellor Narendra Raval (left), Vice Chancellor Rose Mwonya (centre), Deputy VC Alexander Kahi (second right) and other university officials welcome the chancellor at the institution on April 12, 2019. PHOTO | FRANCIS MUREITHI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • The university has not paid its more than 1,900 employees their April salaries.
  • The unions have insisted the institution must pay workers their full April salaries.

As acute cash crunch continue to hit public universities, joint university workers’ unions at Egerton University have rejected a proposal by the institution to pay staff half of their April salaries.

The university has not paid its more than 1,900 employees their April salaries.


Vice-Chancellor Prof Rose Mwonya, however, clarified that the university was not planning to reduce staff salaries by half. She explained that the institution was planning to pay the workers based on 70 per cent capitation from the government.

“We wanted to agree with unions to pay them once the 70 per cent capitation comes, we did not discuss anything to cut their salaries by half,” said Prof Mwonya.

“The capitation funds from the government has not come and at the same time, the 30 per cent the university is supposed to add to the government’s 70 per cent capitation is not there at the moment as we have no students to pay schools fees and other small revenues at the dining hall,” said Prof Mwonya.


Prof Mwonya said she has written to the Principal Secretary University Education and Research to intervene on behalf of the university on the financial crisis.

The union representatives from University Academic Staff Union, Kenya University Staff Union (Kusu) and Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotels, Educational Institutions, Hospitals and Allied Workers said the institution must pay workers their full April salaries.

The Kusu National Organising-Secretary Wayaya Ombunya said if the university plans to implement a pay cut due to the Covid-19, then it should do so with the consent of individual members.

 “The individual wishing his or her salary cut must give consent,” added Mr Ombunya.

He said as a public institution that is sponsored by the government, the State must intervene to address the cash crunch facing Egerton University.

 “The unions are fundamentally created to fight for workers’ welfare and as such cannot and shall not be party to any efforts that may compromise the same,” said a union official.


Added the official: “If the university is facing financial crisis, the management should seek bail out from the government and not employees.”

The university is facing one of its worst financial crisis. The management, led by Vice Chancellor Prof Mwonya, Finance Officer Moses Ouma and Registrar Administration, Planning and Development Dr Thomas Serem met the union officials last week in a bid to convince them to accept the new salary proposal.

“The recurrent shortfall is unmanageable, this has prompted the university management to consider paying the workers based on what we shall receive from the government capitation,” said a university official who attended last week’s meeting.