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‘We’ve been reduced to beggars’ – Lecturers decry salary delays

Saturday, May 18th, 2024 13:11 | By
Officials of the Universities Academic Staff Union, JKUAT Chapter address journalists over the delay of lecturers' salaries. PHOTO/Oliver Musembi
Officials of the Universities Academic Staff Union, JKUAT Chapter address journalists over the delay of lecturers' salaries. PHOTO/Oliver Musembi

Lecturers in at least seven public universities are up in arms over salary delays which they say have rendered them to survive on Fuliza and shylock loans.

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.

Lecturers cannot tolerate

Led by JKUAT Chapter Secretary General Dr Shadrack Muya, the officials said they can no longer tolerate the salary delays which they say are turning members into beggars.

"It is with great concern that by May 17, 2024 our members have not received their salaries for 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's 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.

"As a result many of us have been forced to resort to loans from Fuliza, Mswari and shylocks to survive. This amounts to demeaning and causing embarrassment to our members,"

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

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.

Affected institutions

Some of the other affected institutions include Moi University, Kenyatta University, Technical University of Kenya and Masinde Muliro University of Technology.

The dons say the pay delays have disrupted essential services tied to statutory contributions, including access to medical services.

They also vowed to engage in monthly picketing starting from the 5th day of each subsequent month if salaries for the previous month remain unpaid.

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