Kenya: County Employees Strike to Go on in at Least 15 Counties

Normal operations in at least 15 counties will be disrupted starting from Tuesday with county government workers set to down their tools over delays in payment of their July salary.

This comes after the county employees last week issued a seven-day strike notice over the delays by the respective counties to pay their July salaries vowing to go on pay-parade if they will not have received the salaries by close of business today to demand for the same.

Kenya County Government Workers Union (KCGWU) Secretary-General Roba Duba said that only 28 counties have obeyed the strike notice and paid their workers.

Four more counties, including Kilifi, Busia, Kirinyaga and Uasin Gishu, have made commitments to pay their employees by tomorrow (Monday).

Nonetheless, the remaining 15 counties have neither paid the salaries nor committed to do so before the end of the strike notice.

STRIKE NOTICE

The counties are Kitui, Machakos, Embu, Meru, Bungoma, Samburu, Nakuru, Elgeyo Marakwet, Tharaka Nithi, Isiolo, Marsabit, West Pokot, Kisumu, Baringo and Samburu.

"These counties have not paid and have not shown any indication of an intention to pay. They are rogue counties and from Tuesday, there is going to be total paralysis of services rendered by our members there," said Mr Duba on Sunday.

KCGWU, Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) and the Kenya National Union of Nurses last week issued the strike notice following a letter by the Council of Governors informing the unions that workers July salaries could delay.

Clinical officers and laboratory technologists, on Saturday, also joined the three giant unions and threatened to withdraw services from Tuesday.

STALEMATE

The letter by CoG chairman Wycliffe Oparanya warned the workers to brace themselves for tough times ahead because of the stalemate in Parliament over Division of Revenue Bill, 2019 in Parliament.

The bill is crucial legislation that spells out the sharing of revenue between the national and county governments for the 2019/20 financial.

However, Mr Duba said that workers should not be drawn into the stalemate and they (employees) should not be subjected to untold pain and suffering after rendering their services.

He pointed out that there is nothing new in the payment of staff salaries as it is something that is known and budgeted for in advance accusing the governors of only be using the emotive workers' salaries to pile pressure on the government and Parliament to release the money to counties.

"None of the counties that we have engaged has cited the stalemate in Parliament for the delays. In fact, even the four that have agreed to pay by Tuesday or Wednesday told us the delays were related to payroll management and other small issues.

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