INDUSTRIAL ACTION THREAT

Union issues strike notice, rejects NMS bid to take over payroll

It says NMS is not employer but an entity created to implement some functions.

In Summary

• Union declares it will not consent to members' payroll being transferred to an "illegal" institution in reference to a court declaration that there was no instrument establishing the NMS.

• It maintains that the takeover will cause distortion, inconsistencies and loss of benefits to its members.

Nairobi county workers outside City Hall seeking audience with the governor in a past strike .
INDUSTRIAL ACTION: Nairobi county workers outside City Hall seeking audience with the governor in a past strike .
Image: FILE

Nairobi county workers will go on strike in seven days over the delayed July and August salaries.

Their union, the Kenya County Government Workers Union, is also unhappy with the plan by the Nairobi Metropolitan Services to take over their payroll from City Hall.

“We have noted with great concern the concerted efforts by the Nairobi Metropolitan Services to have the payroll of Nairobi county government workers seconded to them without involving this union and contrary to the wish of Nairobi county government and Nairobi City County Public Service Board,” KCGW Nairobi branch secretary Boniface Waweru said.

 

Waweru, who spoke on Tuesday, said the union will not consent to members' payroll being transferred to an "illegal" institution.

This was in reference to a declaration by the Employment and Labour Relations court a few months ago that there was no instrument establishing the NMS.

Justice Hellen Wasilwa declared the Deed of Transfer of Functions executed between the national government and the county government irregular.

She ruled that the deal signed at State House in February was not approved by the county assembly and was as such unlawful.

Wasilwa further declared the transfer of 6,200 county employees and secondment of CEOs to the NMS irregular and illegal since Governor Mike Sonko was not consulted.

She gave the government 90 days to rectify the illegality.

Waweru said that even if the Mohamed Badi-lead team was regularised, it has a lifespan of only two years. 

 

He saw no reason for the NMS to take over the payroll, maintaining that doing so will cause distortion, inconsistencies and loss of benefits to union members.

The differences over the control of the payroll were evident last month when the NMS and City Hall representatives met to solve issues that led to a six-day doctors' strike.

NMS had expressed frustration to obtain the payroll to resolve the National Hospital Insurance Fund cover and doctors' promotion issues.

The county government argued that the NMS was not an employer but an entity created to implement some functions on behalf of the county.

As such, the employer - the County Public Service Board - has the responsibility to process and pay the workers.

Waweru said the union was surprised that the NMS has money to pay salaries yet the employer had none due to the standoff in the Senate over revenue allocation to counties. 

“This is a clear indication that the National Treasury is funding NMS at the expense of the county government,” he said.

The union insists that the payroll should be maintained by the county government and that the National Treasury should remit the July and August  salaries to City Hall as senators sort out the revenue allocation differences.

“If the above demands are not met we do hereby issue a seven-day notice after which we will paralyse all services in Nairobi and parade our members at City Hall and National Treasury until all the demands are met,” Waweru added.

 

- mwaniki fm