Title: Academic staff perspectives on operating beyond industrial actions for sustainable quality assurance in public universities in Kenya

Authors: Fuchaka Waswa, Gabriel Katana

Addresses: School of Environmental Studies, Kenyatta University, PO Box 43844-00100 GPO, Nairobi, Kenya. ' School of Pure and Applied Science, Kenyatta University, PO Box 43844-00100 GPO, Nairobi, Kenya

Abstract: Industrial actions represent the climax of unresolved conflicts between employers and employees, and have devastating implications on quality assurance in higher education. Management of strikes in public universities in Kenya has been based on a conventional top-down approach which further undermines the greatly needed quality of human and social capital that is responsible for implementing the university mandate towards sustainable development. Results of this study show that the main causes of industrial actions are poor remuneration and offending disparities within and between employee grades in university and other civil service offices – qualifications and the ability to perform, notwithstanding. This calls for radical rationalisation and restructuring of remunerations and staff placement in the entire civil service, based on a combination of earned qualification and competence for prescribed tasks. Overall, a synergistic and people-centred motivational management system stands out as being a critical basis for strike prevention and enhanced quality assurance.

Keywords: strikes; universities; remuneration; equity; motivation; industrial action; work environment; remuneration disparities; Kenya; higher education; sustainable QA; quality assurance; sustainable development; sustainability; motivational management.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEWE.2008.022257

International Journal of Environment, Workplace and Employment, 2008 Vol.4 No.1, pp.45 - 58

Published online: 24 Dec 2008 *

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