24 January 2013

Kenya: Gusii Council Staff On Strike Over Pay

Over 100 Gusii County Council staff yesterday downed tools over failure by the government to increase their pay based on a Collective Bargaining Agreement signed last year.

Led by the Gusii council branch the Local Government Workers Union chairman Kennedy Momanyi and secretary Joash Onyancha, the staff vowed not to resume duty until the CBA has been fully honoured by Local Government Minister Paul Otuoma.

"Operations at the council will remain paralysed until the minister honours the CBA signed in October last year," Momanyi said.

"We have been pushing the govermment to implement the agreement but it has failed to do so. The only language it understands is strike," Onyancha said.

Business in most councils countrywide has been paralysed for almost two weeks after the minister refused to sign the agreement that would have effected the increment.

"It is unfortunate that some of us cannot afford to pay fees for our children because of the meagre salaries we get," Momanyi said.

Onyancha said they will join hands with other councils to pressurise Otuoma to sign the deal. Momanyi said workers have been working in deplorable conditions.

"The minister should resign because he has failed the test. We work under deplorable conditions and that is why we are fighting for a salary increase," Onyancha said. Onyancha has since said cash money for salary increment for workers was not contained in the current financial year's budget.

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