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Workers’ federation, Cotu up in arms over new NSSF contribution rates

Workers should continue paying Sh 200 to National Social Security Fund (NSSF), Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) and Central Organization of Trade Unions (Cotu) officials said on Sunday.

In a move contested by trade unions, NSSF revised its rates in 2013 to have members contribute more, with both workers and their employers contributing six percent of employees’ gross salaries to the pension fund.

The Industrial Court sitting in Nakuru on June 25, 2014 suspended sections of the NSSF Act No. 45 that had proposed the new rates.

“FKE has advised all employers to continue remitting the old NSSF rates until the courts give a ruling on the matter,” read a statement signed by Jacqueline Mugo, FKE executive director.

Cotu secretary general Francis Atwoli took issue with the resolve to lock Cotu and FKE out of NSFF board, terming as illegal any business NSSF has been conducting without the trade unions.

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On July 2014, Labor SC Kazungu Kambi struck Mr Atwoli and Ms Mugo out of NSSF board in a move FKE trivialized as “laughable,” and which the courts later reversed.

However, the two are still out in the cold and Mr Atwoli has threatened to mobilize workers to stop contributing to NSSF if his place and that of Ms Mugo at the board are not reinstated as directed by the courts.

Ms Mugo said that by ignoring the court’s decision, the government was making it difficult for employers to exercise their right to opt out of the revised NSSF rates.

Echoing the sentiments of FKE, Mr Atwoli termed as an act of impunity the government’s apparent lack of interest in talking with employers and employees.

He singled out the failure to increase the minimum wage as allegedly promised during 2014 Labor Day as an indication of government’s lack of resolve to address the welfare of workers.

Meanwhile, Mr Atwoli said that teachers working in north-eastern region should not resume duty until the government gives an assurance of their security.