Lecturers’ unions have said they are willing to compromise on their demand for a lump sum release of Sh38 billion for their 2017-21 CBA and settle for a lower amount.
They said they are willing to negotiate Sh2 billion for one year and Sh10 billion for the remaining years for the four-year CBA.
They revealed this during a meeting with the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops and officials from the Education Ministry on Monday.
They said they were ready and willing to burn the midnight oil to negotiate and arrive at a counter offer within the shortest period.
The talks were led by KCCB chairman Rt. Rev. Philip Anyolo, the Vice Chairman Rev. Alfred Rotich and Rt. Rev. Paul Kariuki.
Lecturers were represented by Universities Academic Staff Union Secretary-General Constantine Wasonga and Chairman Muga Kolale and the Kenya University Staff Union General Secretary Charles Mukhwaya.
The unions said the government has the capacity to solve the issue and want the Universities to be factored in the budget so as to end future strikes.
Bishop Rotich, who steered the talks, called for sobriety, dialogue and patience in finding a solution to the strike which has paralyzed learning across all the 31 Public Universities.
University Education PS Prof. Japheth Ntiba assured the officials that the inter-ministerial committee set up last month had began working on a counter offer which will soon be tabled.
“We in the ministry through the inter-ministerial committee are doing our best to ensure there will be a counteroffer,” said the PS.
The strike, which kicked off on March 1, entered the 68th day on Monday.
In a statement on Sunday, Wasonga called on lecturers to intensify the strike to strengthen their bargaining position.
“Please ignore all entreaties, propaganda or fake news from Management,” he said, in reference to reports that a section of lecturers at Kenyatta University had agreed to return to work.
“To our students and the parents, we empathize with your situation, but the strike is still on. UASU is aware of a plot by some VCs to incite a minority of students against their own teachers and other students – such evil will not succeed,” Wasonga said.
He advised parents to keep their children away from “to protect them from the bad schemes of a minority”.
“The union will let all parents and students know when the strike is over,” Wasonga said.