Lecturers lose suit for higher ranking than support staff
Tuesday, May 28, 2019 21:29
By OUMA WANZALA
Lecturers in public universities have suffered a major blow in their push to be ranked higher than administrative staff in their institutions after labour Court in Nairobi dismissed their case.
The Universities academic Staff Union (Uasu) had challenged a job evaluation report by Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) released in 2017 that offered new grades to lecturers and non-teaching staff.
It ranked administrators with less formal education above lecturers with PhD qualifications, prompting the union to move to court.
Once implemented it will see degree-holder administrators such as the university librarian and finance officers earn more than senior lecturers with PhD qualifications.
It ranked assistant university lecturers below staff in charge of student hostels and legal officers.
However, it ranked professors higher than administrative staff.
While dismissing the case Justice Maureen Onyango said lecturers were involved from the inception of the job evaluation and their rights had not been violated.
“From the pleadings and submission of the parties, it is evident that SRC did involve Uasu in the job evaluation. It is further evident that Uasu raised its elaborate concerns to the consultant PWC for consideration. Several meetings were held by the parties thereafter,” ruled Justice Onyango.
The union claimed that their exclusion from the job evaluation infringed on the university academic staff’s rights to collective bargaining, which is guaranteed by the Constitution.
“SRC failed to take into account the qualifications of persons graded as more qualified members of the Uasu had been graded lower than less qualified administrative staff,” Uasu Secretary- General Constantine Wasonga told the Court
The judge added that the core mandate of university academic staff is to train, teach, and conduct research.
Vice-chancellors were ranked highest at E5, Deputy Vice-chancellors and Principal of colleges were at E4 while the lowest ranked employee, a sweeper at grade A.