Homa Bay workers threaten strike over pay row

Homa Bay governor Cyprian Awiti and his deputy Hamilton Orata speak to journalists in Homa Bay town in April 9, 2018/ ROBERT OMOLLO
Homa Bay governor Cyprian Awiti and his deputy Hamilton Orata speak to journalists in Homa Bay town in April 9, 2018/ ROBERT OMOLLO

Civil servants have threatened to go on strike if the Homa Bay county government does not pay their salaries.

The workers argued that they agreed with the government to pay them before 20th of every month.

Through their union, the Kenya Union of Civil Servants, they accused the county government of failing to pay them on time.

The union chairman in the county Tom Aketch said their members who work for the county government had not received their October salaries.

“More than 21 days have gone since the month of October ended but we have not received our pay. We are also not sure of when will receive our November salaries,” Aketch told journalists on Thursday in Homa Bay town.

The chairman argued that the delayed pay has made them unable to meet their daily and long term needs.

“KCPE results have just been released and workers need money to prepare for their children’s education and other needs. Workers should not be suffering after providing their services,” he added.

The workers threatened to down their tools if they are not paid their salaries by Monday next week.

“The only option we have is to down our tools and picket if we are not paid our salaries by the end of this week,” Aketch said.

However, deputy governor Hamilton Orata said they had not paid the workers due to delays in receiving the funds from the national treasury.

Orata said the county government has not dishonoured its pledges.

“It is true we’ve not paid them but we ask them to bear with us, it’s not our fault. We normally pay once we get the money,” Orata said.

Four of the six counties in the Nyanza region have in the recent months suffered severe cash crunch some of which is caused by delays in passing budget estimates. Kisumu, Kisii, Nyamira and Migori have been the worst hit.