Uasu win as court stops varsities from slashing staff salaries
What you need to know:
- Moi University has demoted staff and reduced salaries while the University of Nairobi (UoN) has demoted lecturers.
- The salary reductions and demotions are causing lecturers “economic duress, anguish as they cannot meet their daily needs and have been embarrassingly reduced to destitute”, said Mr Koceyo.
The High Court has barred public varsities from cutting salaries of over 10,000 lecturers pending the determination of a case filed by the University Academic Staff Union (Uasu).
Lady Justice Maureen Onyango directed the Inter-Public Universities Councils Consultative Forum (IPUCCF) to stop the reductions and demotions while implementing the Sh6.6 billion collective bargain agreements (CBAs) registered on July 3.
Certifying as urgent a case filed by lawyer Titus Koceyo for Uasu, Justice Onyango — of the Employment and Labour Relations Court (ELRC) — said there was no harmony in the methodology used in implementing the three CBAs.
“I have considered the application dated August 31, 2020 filed by Koceyo for Uasu and certifies it urgent. I grant a temporary order restraining IPUCCF from reducing monthly salary, demoting or degrading Uasu members pending determination of the case on October 8, 2020,” the judge ruled.
The court had directed IPUCCF to implement the agreements for the years 2017-2021 “on a horizontal basis”. “IPUCCF has conversely proceeded to deduct, reduce and demote all the unionisable employees of all the 31 public universities without any justification and against the court order on horizontal implementation of the CBAs,” Mr Koceyo argued.
Moi University has demoted staff and reduced salaries while the University of Nairobi (UoN) has demoted lecturers. The salary reductions and demotions are causing lecturers “economic duress, anguish as they cannot meet their daily needs and have been embarrassingly reduced to destitute”, said Mr Koceyo.
The intention of the CBAs was to improve members’ terms of service but not to reduce/diminish the same as it is counterproductive and unlawful, he added. “This court while registering the three CBAs did not direct IPUCCF to demote nor reduce the staff salaries while implementing them,” he told the judge.
“The IPUCCF has completely refused to implement and pay the lecturers salary scales provided for in the CBAs,” he added. The most affected are those from UoN and Moi University, whose salaries have been reduced by over Sh40,000.
In the implementation of the 2020/2021 CBA, South Eastern Kenya University (Seku) and Kenyatta University (KU) staff won’t get increments but will remain in the scales of June 2020.