TIRED OF EMPTY PROMISES

Nairobi county workers begin strike

Staff decries delayed salaries and a lack of medical cover

In Summary

• The workers assembled at City Hall and demanded county officials address their grievances.

• Some made their way to City Hall Annex to lure their colleagues to join them.

County workers on Wednesday proceeded on strike even as they accused their employers of failing to meet their demands.

The staff complained about delayed salaries and failure to provide medical cover. They assembled at City Hall and demanded county officials address their grievances.

Mike Munene said they have not had medical cover for four months, something that has exposed them and their families.

Esther Mumbi said they were tired of empty promises, while Jack Owino said they lacked PPE. Some made their way to City Hall Annex to lure their colleagues to join them.

The workers, represented by Kenya County Government Workers Union Nairobi branch secretary Festus Ngari and Nairobi City branch secretary Benson Olianga, had last week informed both administrations of their intention to strike.

Speaking to the Star, the two union leaders said they had been called to a meeting attended by the county secretary and county public service board.

However, the resolutions had yet to be announced as unionists and City Hall officials were engaged in a meeting the whole afternoon. 

“The county has failed to give a proper timeline of when workers will get their medical cover. They have not paid their premiums to NHIF,” Ngari said.

“The workers have been exposed since July because of the inefficiency of the county executive to procure a medical insurance provider on time for a seamless transition.”

The union said this goes against the Employment Act and the collective bargaining agreement signed in 2013. The county workers were to be put under the National Hospital Insurance Fund cover after the timeframe of AAR, the previous insurer, elapsed in June.

Other issues raised by workers were failure to promote county staff, with at least 400 of them qualified for promotion.

The issue of non-remittance of statutory deductions and non-payment of overtime and other allowances was also raised.

The workers also decried the failure to provide non-payment of uniform allowances and other dues for retiring employees.

The union leaders said the strike will continue until their demands are met.

 

Edited by Kiilu Damaris