• Saturday, 22 June 2024
Uasu requests that President Ruto dissolve the Egerton Council.

Uasu requests that President Ruto dissolve the Egerton Council.

President William Ruto's administration has been urged by the Universities Academics Staff Union (Uasu) to prioritize the financial crisis at Egerton University.


The situation at the university's Njoro campus, according to Uasu national secretary-general Constantine Wasonga, is a national crisis.


"I want to tell the Kenya Kwanza government that the Egerton University financial crisis is something that they should deal with as soon as possible," Dr. Wasonga said.


He stated that all Uasu chapter secretaries will gather their members on Wednesday at Jogoo House in Nairobi to petition the government to intervene in the Egerton University crisis.


"This crisis at Egerton University has lasted more than three years, and I want the entire country to know that there is a crisis here," he said.


"From [Monday], all lecturers must not attend classes; if you are a serious lecturer, you will go to class once the union has permitted you; learning has been halted until the union calls off the strike," he added.


He expressed regret that dons were only paid 57% of their salaries at Egerton University.


"This is an injustice to our members, and the union will not accept it any longer," Dr Wasonga stated.


He told students that "there will be no learning here [Egerton] until this pay row is resolved conclusively."


Dr. Wasonga chastised the university council for "sleeping on the job" and urged it to resign, claiming it had failed to carry out its mandate.


"This council should be dissolved immediately," he said, "because what has the council been doing since the crisis began in 2020?"


"The union has given the council plenty of time to resolve the pay dispute, but it appears that it has been defeated." Why should this council be appointed? It is now time for the council to resign honorably and make way for a new council.


"The government should disband this council because it adds nothing to the institution."


After the national office declared a strike, over 600 members of the Uasu Egerton chapter went on strike.


Learning at the financially troubled school is expected to halt after lecturers pledged not to return to class.


A dozen Uasu chapter officials from public universities across the country, as well as the entire national executive council, attended the strike's launch in a rare show of solidarity.


Hundreds of students also listened to their professors lament the difficulties they face.


The strike began after university administrators failed to meet the lecturers' demands. The demands included reinstatement of their full salaries, promotions, and refunds of statutory deductions totaling billions of shillings.


Since the COVID-19 pandemic, lecturers at the Njoro campus have received 57% of their salaries, and the majority of them have pay arrears totaling millions of shillings.


Uasu national chairperson Grace Nyongesa stated that the union's anger and disappointment with what is happening at Egerton were expressed through the solidarity of other union chapters.


"Egerton University cannot be in the media all the time when students are agitating and [administrators] have chosen to close their ears; we have launched the mother of all strikes, and this will send a message home," Ms. Nyongesa said.


Ms. Nyongesa added that Egerton University's problems must be resolved once and for all to ensure normal and lasting operation. 


"Is this country listening? Do we have civil servants earning 57% of their salaries? University students want to be taught, and they can only be taught by lecturers who earn their rightful salaries." she interrogated the public.


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