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Lecturers cry foul as more Kenyan universities declare pay cut

Kenyatta University announces pay cut

Universities’ Academic Staff Union hold a press conference at Meridian Hotel on January 17, 2020. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Kenyatta University now joins Kisii University and Egerton University which have announced pay cut for their staff due to coronavirus pandemic.

On Monday, Universities Academic Staff Union (Uasu) vice-chairman Joseph Mberia warned higher learning institutions against deducting staff salaries.

“The government releases funds for staff salaries in full. We wonder why universities are now paying their staff half salaries,” said Mr Mberia.

He said staff have loan obligations to meet and it was unfair for universities and colleges to reduce their pay.

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Egerton and Kisii universities have already announced salary reductions of 30-40 per cent on the grounds that they have not received money from the National Treasury. The two institutions have not paid their staff April salaries, Mr Mberia said, same as two other institutions that he did not name. He asked the universities to push the government to release the funds.

Last week, Egerton University Vice-Chancellor Rose Mwonya said the institution was not able to generate enough funds.

“The university management board resolved that … staff in grade One to Four receive full net salary while those in grades Five to 19 will get 60 per cent of their net pay and the balance will be settled as soon as funds are available,” Prof Mwonya said.

40 per cent reduction

Kisii University also announced a 40 per cent reduction in pay, saying it has a deficit of Sh56 million.

“In ordinary times, this deficit would have been offset by the money raised from students. Since universities are closed, we have not received any cash,” Vice-Chancellor John Akama said.
Maseno University has asked employees to take voluntary pay cuts starting this month.

At Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology, employees whose services are classified as non-essential have been told to take leave until the virus is contained.

Already Prof Kisau Mumo chairman of Kenya Private Universities association(KAPU) has asked the government to release Sh2billion for about 40,000 government sponsored students in private universities across the country.

Prof Mumo said the institutions were facing financial crisis at the moment due to the pandemic.

Additional reporting by Daily Nation Daily Nation 

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