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Lecturers raise concern over delayed pay

Monday, May 20th, 2024 05:25 | By
UASU officials, JKUAT Chapter led by the chairman Muiga Rugara addressing journalists over the delay of salary delays. PHOTO/Oliver Musembi
UASU officials, JKUAT Chapter led by the chairman Muiga Rugara addressing journalists over the delay of salary delays. PHOTO/Oliver Musembi

Lecturers in at least seven public universities are up in arms over salary delays even as reports indicate that the institutions are grappling with serious financial constraints.

The lecturers’ union leaders now say the pay delays have rendered their member’s beggars, forcing them to survive on Fuliza and shylock loans.

Reports indicate that public universities are in dire financial constraints, with more than half of the 40 public institutions of higher learning being broke and on the verge of collapse from huge debts totalling a staggering Sh76 billion.

In a joint press briefing at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) Juja main campus in Kiambu County, the Universities Academic Staff Union (UASU) leadership announced a plan by members to start picketing from Monday to protest the pay delays.

Led by JKUAT Chapter Secretary General Dr Shadrack Muya, the officials said they can no longer tolerate the salary delays which they say are making university tutors bankrupt. “It is with great concern that by 17th of May, 2024 our members have not received their salaries for the month of April despite fulfilling their duties and serving as per their contractual terms, they are yet to be compensated. This is a clear violation of the Employment Act 2007 and the Constitution of Kenya 2010,” said Dr Muya in statement on behalf of the seven affected universities.

The unionists averred that the delay in salary payments has caused significant hardship to lecturers, thus affecting their ability to meet financial obligations such as servicing standing orders, mortgage payments and school fees among others.

Cause embarrassment

“As a result many of us have been forced to resort to loans from Fuliza, Mshwari and shylocks in order to survive. This amounts to demeaning and causing embarrassment to our members,”

“Imagine a whole professor facing closure of his rental house for non-payment of rent or begging a school principal not to send home his child over fees arrears,” posed UASU the union’s JKUAT Chapter Treasurer Timona Soita.

Similar sentiments were expressed by JKUAT Chapter Chairman Muiga Rugara who accused the government and the University management of failing in their obligations and subjecting public institutions of higher education to possible collapse.

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