Nairobi County workers down tools

Nairobi County Staff

Nairobi County staff downed their tools on October 13, 2021. 

Photo credit: Collins Omulo | Nation Media Group

Over 11,000 City Hall employees downed their tools Wednesday over failure by their employer to address their grievances.

The workers are complaining about medical cover, delayed salaries and promotions, harmonisation of staff benefits and non-remittance of statutory deductions.

Other complaints are non-payment of overtime and other allowances, non-payment of uniform allowances and other dues for retiring employees, failure to provide personal protective equipment and uniforms as well as failure to pay off-days for security officers.

“We will continue with the strike until the county government listens to us,” said Festus Ngari, the secretary of the Kenya County Government Workers Union, Nairobi branch.

Mr Ngai said there has not been anything offered in return by the county government and a meeting called on Tuesday by acting County Secretary Jarius Musumba to avert the strike failed to achieve any solution as the county executive officials categorically told them that the grievances are beyond them.

“We are telling Nairobi residents not to pay for any service because we will not be offering any service. We will report to office every morning as required by law but then picket until our demands are met,” he said.

Incompetency

Joining the workers in the strike, Utalii MCA Wilson Ocholla blamed Ms Kananu for the strike, accusing her of incompetency in running the affairs of the county government.

“Workers must be listened to. We are giving the governor three days to pay the workers and if not she steps aside and we have a new governor in office,” said Mr Ocholla.

On his part, Mr Musumba said that the county government has addressed most of the grievances raised, saying that they have provided medical cover for the staff and have addressed issues of delayed payment of salaries.

Further, he said City Hall has been remitting statutory deductions on time, save for the historical deduction backlog.

“We have paid for medical scheme, we have not delayed to pay staff and they can attest to that. On remittance of statutory deductions, we do and we have a payment schedule and for the last one year or so we have been doing that faithfully,” said Mr Musumba.

On the issue of promotions and uniform allowances, Mr Musumba said the two demands are not under the county executive.

“Failure to promote staff is not under the executive,” he said.

However, Mr Ngari said they will not relent until all their demands are met, saying that the county government has failed to show willingness to negotiate.

“We are giving them a chance but they must come with something on the table. The irreducible minimum is that anyone who got qualifications from 2005 and has never been promoted must receive a letter of promotion. Why is the public service board interested in recruitment and not promoting the qualified? Until that is answered then there is no relenting,” he said.


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