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Court allows Egerton staff to go on strike

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The court allows Egerton employees to go on strike


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Egerton University Vice-Chancellor Prof Isaac Ongubo Kibwage as he appears before the National Assembly Education Committee at Parliament Buildings on March 10, 2022. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NMG

The Labor Court has allowed academic staff at Egerton University to go on strike if their employer continues to default on benefits, including salaries.

In a ruling dismissing a petition from the institution, Judge Hellen Wasilwa said the university had a duty to demonstrate when it was ready to pay the monies owed to staff and that the funds had been factored into the budget cycle.

Read: Egerton VC jailed for contempt

“I will exercise my discretion and direct that within 120 days, the end and beginning of the fiscal cycle, the petitioner (Egerton) should demonstrate how he implements what was agreed in the CBA between him and the union and in default by the defendant ( union) stands. He is free to initiate a new strike action after making the necessary communications, if necessary,” Judge Wasilwa said.

On October 17, 2022, the university sued Universities Academic Staff Union and Universities Academic Staff Union Egerton Branch.

When the matter was brought to court, the parties requested referral to an arbitrator.

After hearing both parties, the arbitrator recommended that the issues raised by the Egerton Staff Union were justified and that Egerton University should provide timetables for how it would make the payments requested by its staff.

The report written by the arbitrator showed that the couple had a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) and the disputes were monetary and in the CBA.

Both Egerton and the staff union have been ordered to comment on the findings and recommendations in court so that the court can make the final judgment.

Read: Conspicuous Egerton lecturers intervene

The court said that Egerton University’s act of making deductions and not paying back as expected was an offense punishable by law.

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