NAIROBI, Kenya Aug 6 – The Kenya County Government Workers Union (KCGWU) has issued a seven-day strike notice over delayed July salaries caused by the impasse on the Division of Revenue Bill.
The union’s Secretary-General Roba Duba has vowed what he described as a “total paralysis of all services in the counties from Tuesday” if workers are not paid by Monday.
“Workers are not party to the Division of Revenue dispute; hence any delay is illegal and unacceptable,” he told a news conference in Nairobi Tuesday.
Duba said any further delay of salaries will make workers undergo untold suffering as they will be unable to meet their basic needs.
“Timely disbursement of salaries ensures that workers are able to meet their financial obligations as and when they become due,” he said.
Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU) Secretary-General Ouma Oluga urged county governments to take the notice seriously to avoid a crisis in county health facilities.
Oluga argued that the division of revenue dispute shouldn’t be an excuse to delay salaries, because counties have a window of asking Treasury for money to pay salaries.
“We are stating very clearly that within seven days we will take an action and that will be a salary parade – people will be going to parade for their salaries. This means no work will be going on, we don’t want to reach there so we are advising our county governments please pay workers,” said Oluga.
Secretary General Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) Seth Panyako also said that any delays in salaries and wages will not be taken lightly.
“Starting Tuesday all workers including cleaners, nurses, doctors even Governor’s drivers will take part in the salary parade,” said Panyako.
Council of Governors (CoG) Chairperson Wycliffe Oparanya had earlier on told county staff to prepare for salary delays, and asked them to be patient as they seek avenues to address the matter.
The notice came even as the Senate held public hearings on the National Assembly’s version of the controversial Division of Revenue Bill that seeks to have counties allocated Sh316 billion.
CoG is insisting on Sh335 billion, which President Uhuru Kenyatta said, “is too much”.
“Governors must be realistic in their demands, let them take what is available,” he said last week.
Following the dispute, CoG filed a case at the Supreme Court the apex court giving the Speakers of both Houses OF Parliament 14 days to file a joint report on the status of the legislative process.