Kenyan union urges COTU to arbitrate pay gridlock
Union of Kenya Civil Servants (UKCS) is now sounding alarm over the continued stalemate on revenue allocation to county staff saying Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU) Secretary General Francis Atwoli should be consulted to use his long and wide experience in trade disputes to help break the gridlock.
UKCS Nairobi county Executive Secretary Mr Wilson Asingo lamented the harsh suffering county staff have been forced to endure without salaries say some of them risked being kicked out of rental houses, and children chased from schools over fees, while others have no money to buy food.
"This is not acceptable" Asingo told the Workers Eye saying Governors, MPs and Senators can afford the high profile legal battle in courts and boardrooms. "What about the low income county staff without extra means of livelihood surviving on a small fixed income without allowances," he said.
He said mechanism should be put in place which ensures workers get what is owed to them to pay rent and meet their basic needs like food and transport. This he said should not be pegged on ongoing court cases or negotiations at top government level because workers have given their services and need to be paid as the negotiations continue.
Asingo urged the COTU boss to intervene like he did during the paralyzing doctors strike that wreaked havoc in public hospitals saying the impasse could have been avoided if the two sides approached negotiations in a give and take spirit instead of this "take it or leave it" approach.
Asingo said the civil servants union which is holding its annual delegates conference in Nairobi from September 4 – 6, 2019 is deeply disturbed by the continued stalemate over the salary remuneration from the national to county governments. "The union was doing everything possible to help unlock the gridlock." he said.
The standoff is over MPs allocation of Kshs 315 billion to counties while the senate awarded Kshs 365 billion. a matter that has turned into an agonizing standoff.