City Hall workers threaten to sue Governor Sakaja over CBA stalemate

Johnson Sakaja

 Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja

Photo credit: File I Nation Media Group

Nairobi  Governor Johnson Sakaja is facing a new headache as the city hall workers threaten to go to court over the delayed signing and implementation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) and unremitted statutory deductions amounting to Sh700 million.

The 13,000 workers who downed their tools last Monday before signing a return-to work formula the following day, have accused the Sakaja-led administration of failing to sign the CBA agreement calling for their promotions and increased remuneration.

The workers led by the Kenya County Government Workers Union (KCGWU) Nairobi Branch Chairman Anthony Kimingi said the Sakaja-led team has not honoured its promises more than nine months after taking over from the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS).

“The salary of the city hall workers has remained the same since 2012 and more than 10 years down the line, the workers are struggling with feeding their families. We are seeking legal redress because the county management is unwilling to sign the CBA,” Mr Kimingi said.

Mr Kimingi has also said the county government is sitting on unremitted of statutory deductions dating back to 2021 during the tenure of former Nairobi Governor Ann Kananu.

He has said that although the amount was deducted from the workers to pay off the outstanding bank loans, it was not remitted and most of them have been listed as defaulters by local banks.

The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) gave the advisory after an earlier one.

In the latest advisory, dated April 2023 SRC once again directed the City Hall workers to negotiate with the county government on new parameters concerning employees who worked in the defunct local authorities and were absorbed by the county government.

Mr Kimingi said they will be seeking a court advisory on which of the two advisories they need to follow. He has accused the county administration of collaborating with SRC to frustrate them.

“We are seeing a sinister move and we are wondering why SRC should write two different advisories. We complied with everything that they had directed us to do in the first advisory.  The county government management and the commission are deliberately denying the workers what they deserve,” Mr Kimingi added.

Nairobi County Secretary Patrick Analo who held a meeting and signed a return-to work formula for the employees said Sakaja-led administration is committed to the implementation of the CBA only when the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) parameters are met.

“The county government is keen on implementing the CBA and has made the necessary budget provision for the same once all the issues raised by the SRC are addressed,” Mr Analo said.

During last week’s meeting, the county government also agreed to ensure the remission of the deductions subject to an approval by the controller of budget and after a through internal audit.

Even as the union officials signed the return-to work formula, a section of the workers accused the officials of being compromised and calling off the strike prematurely before their issues were handled.

The official have however denied the claims as they said the issue has already been taken to court and they are committed to improving the welfare of the city hall workers.