IN A WEEK

Nairobi workers threaten strike over poor pay, working conditions

The ten-point demands include promotions, staff uniforms, allowances and retiree benefits.

In Summary

• They want City Hall to expedite pending disciplinary cases, streamline job groups, pay retiree benefits, injury compensation and tuition fees refunds.  

• Kenya County Government Workers Union Nairobi secretary Benson Olianga accused City Hall of ignoring the plight of workers. 

Nairobi county workers during a protest held at City Hall on February 19, 2019.
Nairobi county workers during a protest held at City Hall on February 19, 2019.
Image: MAUREEN KINYANJUI

County workers have issued a week's strike notice over poor working and remuneration conditions. 

Through their union, the workers said they will not report to work at the expiry of the notice unless their demands for promotions, staff uniforms, allowances are met. 

They also want City Hall to expedite pending disciplinary cases, streamline job groups, pay retiree benefits, injury compensation and tuition fees refunds.  

 

Kenya County Government Workers Union Nairobi secretary Benson Olianga accused City Hall of ignoring the plight of workers. 

In a letter dated January 28, the union asked members to assemble for a sit-in at City Hall from Tuesday next week and continue doing so until advised by the leadership. 

The letter was addressed to the governor, county labour office, director of parking services, subcounty administrators, chairman of the CPSB  and human resource director.  

The Nairobi county police commander was also sent a copy of the letter and requested to provide sufficient security.

Should the workers go on strike, services will be disrupted in county hospitals, City Mortuary, ECDE centres, City Hall and City Hall Annex. 

The strike notice comes a day after the Nairobi health professionals issued another, citing lack of promotion as promised by the county.

In the letter, the county workers said the government committed to effecting promotions this month but requests for a meeting to discuss the matter were not taken up.

 

“The said request was ignored and or declined for unknown reasons. The promotions were not done as you had promised,” reads the letter.

In November last year, the county government said it had approved the promotion of 2,152 health workers across all cadres at a cost of Sh99 million in the first phase.

Acting Health CEC Vesca Kangogo on Tuesday said that Governor Mike Sonko had directed that the promotions and deployment be effected this month.

But the workers have lamented that despite raising other grievances, no action has been taken by the county.

“The workers have suffered due to their declining purchasing power over the years. The working conditions have equally declined tremendously,” the union said.

The County Public Service Board has been accused of being an impediment to the timely resolution of disciplinary cases.

The workers said it was not their desire to disrupt services in the county but they needed to pursue and put their own welfare affairs first.

The union said workers' failure to show displeasure on the violation of employment rights was to blame for the county's inaction. 

“This has made the county administration to proceed into a deep slumber thereby forgetting that the workers have needs to satisfy and careers to develop," the union said.