Students in public universities may be forced to resume their semester studies in another academic year after the continued, and constant negotiations between the Ministry and the Union have been reported barren. It is almost a month now and learning in public universities has been stale as lecturers storm the streets holding placards and banners fighting for the implementation of the 2013-2017 CBA Agreement forcing students to flee the universities. Some public universities have also been forced to officially terminate the semester indefinitely asking the students to leave the university premises until further notice.On the other hand, the Education Cabinet Secretary has been pleading with the Lecturers in fruitless meetings and negotiations to end the strike. Motivated by their counterparts, doctors in a three-month strike, the UASU staff has vowed not to step into classes until their grievances are met and the 2013 CBA agreement. In spite of the government’s counter-battle against doctor’s strike which has termed the strike as illegal, jailing its top officials and even to an extent of the unfolding of who signed the CBA agreement, efforts which should discourage the lecturers strike, the unshakeable stand of doctors has motivated lecturers to continue their strike despite the ministries 10b counter offer.
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The threats and vows regarding the one-month strike and the Ministry’s little effort in ending the strike have led to speculations of the public universities being forced to suspend the academic year so as to battle for their rights and grievances which they say have been ignored for long. On Thursday, Sossion encouraged the lecturers to push on and never give up for their rights the lecturers vowed during their peaceful demonstrations that they will only back down if the government fulfills their 2013-17 Collective Bargaining Agreement.
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Under the pressure of both lecturers’ strike, doctors’ strike and the drought and famine disaster that has hit many parts of the country, in addition, this is the year of elections, the government will NOT be able to meet the 300 percent salary increment. If the lecturers maintain their stand not to resume lecturers until their CBA agreement is implemented, students in public universities are likely to commence their studies in a new semester and academic year come 2018.