THE Kisumu county government has sacked its 24 workers. Secretary Humphrey Nakitare said those dismissed have been serving as casual workers on contracts.
"They were engaged as casual labourers for a short time. We now have permanent employees to perform the duties they used to do," he said yesterday. Nakitare said the move is aimed at reducing the county's huge monthly wage bill. He said the county has a monthly wage bill of more than Sh80 million.
"As a county we are striving to save more funds for development projects. We therefore need to reduce the monthly wage bill to set aside more funds for growth," Nakitare said. He said the sacked employees are free to apply for positions advertised by the County Public Service Board.
A letter seen by the Star and dated January 6 is signed by a Mr Daniel Otwoma on behalf of the county secretary, the county human resource committee. It states that the county agreed that the workers' contracts should not be extended after December 31. "You are hereby required to handover to your immediate supervisors on or before January 8, 2014," reads the letter.
Those dismissed have however expressed their dissatisfaction with the county government. They said they have worked for the county for several months and not three months as indicated in their dismissal letters. "I have been working at the county offices for the last eight-months since Governor Jack Ranguma took over office and it is wrong to say we have only worked there for three months," said one of the dismissed workers.
She said their sacking is against the labour laws that require permanent employment of workers who have served for more than three months. She said they might consider challenging the sacking in court. Kisumu City Residents Voice Chairman Audi Ogada said the county's huge wage bill cannot be reduced by sacking casual workers.
"These are people who earn peanuts and one cannot claim to reduce the wage bill by sacking them," he said. Ogada said Governor Ranguma pledged to create employment but is now firing workers. "It is also unfair to dismiss a few individuals while there are several other employees at the governor's office who were seconded yet the Transition Authority only allowed him to employ five employees when he assumed office," he said