County government workers threaten to go on strike beginning next week
Normal county operations are set to be disrupted starting next week Tuesday following threat by county government workers to down their tools if they do not get their July salaries by Monday.
Kenya County Government Workers Union (KCGWU) secretary general Roba Duba said that all the county employees will engage in pay-parade at the premises of their respective employers demanding for the release of the salaries.
He said there will be total paralysis of services at the devolved units as the series of industrial actions all over the country, to compel the counties to pay the salaries. The strike will for the first time involve all the four unions representing the county employees.
The unions are KCGWU, Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU), Union of Kenya Civil Servants and Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN).
“We are demanding for the payment of July, 2019 salaries by close of business Monday next week failure to which we will have no alternative but take serious industrial action against the county governments which may include but not limited to downing of tools,” said Mr Duba.
He was speaking on Tuesday during a press conference at Silver Springs Hotel together with KMPDU secretary general Dr Ouma Oluga and his KNUN counterpart Seth Panyako.
Mr Duba stated that the series of and they have already issued all the 47 county governments a seven-day strike notice over the delayed payment of the salaries.
This comes after the Council of Governors chair Governor Wycliffe Oparanya alerted unions and county government workers to prepare for tough times ahead concerning disbursement of salaries and other related payments due to delay in the passage of the Division of revenue Bill for 2019/2020 financial year.
However, the secretary general explained that the delay in remitting the salaries is illegal and unacceptable as the workers are not party to the impasse over the Division of Revenue Bill locking governors and senators on one side and members of parliament on the other side.
“This is a gross violation of workers’ rights as enshrined in article 41(2) of the Constitution. Moreover, the Employment Act 2007 under section 17 further reiterates that non-payment of salaries amounts to serious violation of the law,” he said.
He said that out of the 47 counties only Nairobi County has given a promise that they will remit salaries for their staff this week.
However, the general secretary warned that if Governor Mike Sonko does not honour the pledge then operations at City Hall will also be affected.
“We know that there are some county governments which are still even grappling to pay June salaries. This is wrong and as the delay has made workers undergo untold suffering since they are not able to meet their basic needs,” said Mr Duba.