Universities' Academic Staff Union (UASU) is a labour based union for academic staff in public universities in the Republic of Kenya
In April 1966, an organization called the University College Academic Staff Association was registered with the Registrar of Societies. The association was very much a social organization which welcomed and sent off expatriate staff as they joined and left college. Prior to 1972, most lecturers at the University of Nairobi were members of the University Staff Association, which was provided for in the University of Nairobi Act (1970).The staff association was entitled to representation in the University Council.
The Association was transformed into a Union due to inability to access certain information crucial to staff welfare. Some Dons had rejected membership of this body which they regarded as part of the government machinery to curb academic freedom. For this reason, they took the initiative of registering UASU.The move was unpopular with the University Council because the Union Constitution provided the strike action as a last resort. The association members decided to form a trade union which could make certain demands with the backing of the law. Although there was a lot of lobbying from Council and certain Senate members to association members to reconsider their decisions and revert to association, the pressure that came with being unrepresented in Council and its committees, members in 1972 voted overwhelmingly to remain in a trade union. WHEREAS The Universities’ Academic Staff Union (UASU), has been founded upon principles of social justice, labour democracy and democratic action and is dedicated to the achievement of greater unity among its members for the purpose of improving their terms and conditions of service, standards of living, social responsibility and empowerment, bringing fairness and dignity to the workplace and ensuring academic freedom and social equity in the universities; WHEREAS the Union will act as a bargaining instrument for its members, unite and assemble a progressive coalition on overcome unfair wages, unfair working hours, unfair working conditions and unfair labour policies and practices wherever these exist, and create a collective force within the labour movement that will speak on the public policies and issues that affect the lives of the academic staff; WHEREAS the Union has formulated and adopted the following rules and regulations, and recognizes a need for organizing and collectively bargaining for the purpose of attaining its objectives; To these ends the Universities Academic Staff Union which was founded in 1993 and whose constitution was registered on 2nd May 2003, adopts, enacts and gives this constitution to itself.