Pushing for social dialogue in Kenya

23 May 2018
PSI has contacted the Kenyan government regarding the trade union rights situation in the country and the creation of an inter-ministerial committee on education reform. We encourage affiliates to send protest letters to the government, asking them to deal with these two matters urgently.

After months of fruitless meetings without any concrete outcome, members of the Kenya Universities Staff Union (KUSU) called its members to withdraw labour on Friday 2nd March 2018 in a national strike against the government and 31 public university managements for failing to negotiate collective bargaining covering the 2017-2021 cycle.

Article 41 of the Constitution of Kenya: Labour Relations, specifies in its Article 41 (5) that "Every trade union, employers’ organisation and employer has the right to engage in collective bargaining". However, the government has refused to negotiate with the union.

In addition, workers and employers of public higher education are not represented on the newly created inter-ministerial committee that has been tasked with education reform in Kenya. Moreover, even though this committee is supposed to produce a counter-proposal for the collective agreement, its chair is from a private education institution, and neither trade unions, nor the actual employers are represented on the committee. PSI is calling on the government to address this issue and secure a balanced representation in the composition of the inter-ministerial committee, insisting that there can be no social dialogue without negotiation, nor representation by the social partners.

PSI has sent a letter to the Kenyan government, encouraging it to deal with the two matters of collective bargaining for the KUSU and fair representation on the inter-ministerial committee. We are also asking affiliates to send a similar letter to the Kenyan government, using the model letter attached below.

Please also send a copy of your letter to rights@world-psi.org.

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