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The MMUST Chapter Secretary General, Prof. Kubasu Kwashe, who has served in the Union since 2009, urged members to embrace solidarity. “The unity of purpose must be upheld in the Union for it to work,” he said. Prof. Kubasu went on to mention some of the achievements that the Union has made. As he stated, the Union has ensured timely release of monthly salaries and allowances for its members, as well as payment of withheld PSSP monies. He also said that there has been an increased Chapter membership, thereby empowering the Union financially. Furthermore, he applauded the present University regime for being more accommodative and cooperative to Union matters.

Speaking about the upcoming Union elections, he promised to handover the office of the Chapter Secretary General to the person that will be elected. “I have served you well for the past twelve (12) years. A good footballer passes the ball to the next player,” he said.

In his speech, the MMUST Chapter Chairman, Mr. Robinson Oduma, highlighted issues of UASU elections, internal Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs) and Union membership. He also discussed MMUST Building Bridges Initiative (MBBI), and University leadership as well as relations with the Union. Mr. Oduma stated that the term of the current Union office is almost over and therefore elections shall be conducted early next year. “There will be elections coming up to fill all declared positions as advised by the Registrar of Trade Unions from the Chapter to the National level. I wish to welcome all of us to participate in these elections either by seeking elective positions or as voters,” he said. In addition, he advised members to observe patience, referring to the fact that some have started campaigns even before positions have been declared vacant.

One of the critical issues that AUSU has been pursuing is the pending 2013-2017 CBA. The implementation of the 2013-2017 CBA has delayed and up to date, the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) has not given a no objection letter to enable the registration of this CBA in court.

“In order for SRC to do that, it needs certain critical documentation from MMUST such as audited accounts of the University. We appeal to Council and Management to proactively seek a solution to break this impasse. In the meantime, the Management should start implementing the CBA in a phased approach even as we wait for the SRC approval,” he stated. Further, he said that the 2017-2021 internal CBA has already been presented to Council for its consideration.

The Union membership has increased rapidly over the years. “Our numbers now stand close to 262 and we hope to have successfully recruited all academic staff into the Union in the very near future. All those members who had left the Union are encouraged to rejoin, and as responsible parents, we will welcome them back into the fold. However, they shall not be bona fide members unless their subscriptions are up to date”, confirmed Mr. Oduma. Concurring with the Chairman, Dr. Rose Opiyo, the Union treasurer said that UASU is a monthly subscribing Union and ‘not a subscribe as you wish’ or a ‘subscribe when convenient organization,’. Only fully subscribing members will benefit from the Union. “UASU has to meet the cost of its recurrent expenses.” she said.

The Chairman said that the Union is gratified to note that the University Council has approved sections of the MBBI report for implementation: one such matter is promotions. “Over two hundred academic positions have been declared to be filled internally by our members through promotions. Moreover, the current promotion criteria is favorable to our members.” He also noted that UASU is grateful to the current MMUST leadership, led by Prof. Solomon Shibairo, for ensuring a harmonious relationship between the University and the Union.

Officials from sister Unions emphasized on the need for these Chapters to consolidate and ensure that members understand the significance of unionism. The KUSU MMUST Branch Chairman, Mr. Meshack Onzere, said that his Union has been working closely with UASU and KUDHEIHA and asked members to maintain this relationship. Other UASU officials physically present were; Chapter DSG, Mr. Lianda Mauyo, Chapter Org. Sec. Mr. Jason Momanyi, Assistant Treasurer, Ms. Agatha Mbakaya, Trustees, Dr. Lucy Mandilla and Dr. Bernard Omogo, Committee Members, Prof. Stanley Omuterema, and Mr. Sharack Opunde, Delegates, Dr. Jairus Odawa and Ms. Joyce Kasili.

The treasurer, auditor and the trustees took turns to discuss their reports and members were allowed to make comments on the same. The proposed UASU Budget for the year 2021 was also extensively discussed. Invited UASU officials from the Chapters who attended the meeting included: TUC Secretary General, Mrs. Beatrice Kemunto Mbori, TUC Chairman, Mr. Collins Obura, KIBU Secretary General, Dr. Robert Wanjala, KIBU Chairman, Dr. Musungu and KAFUCO Chairman Dr. Moses Mukonda.

 By Wangari Wambugu [This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.] and Lydia Anyonje [This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.]

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