The Kenya Union of Civil Servants Kitui branch which is the umbrella body of Kitui County workers has agreed to suspend their ongoing strike following an agreement they signed with kitui Governor Charity Ngilu that she will pay them in two weeks time.
The secretary of the workers union Benjamin Munyalo while addressing journalists Thursday said that they have agreed to resume duty to serve kitui people, citing that Ngilu has promised to pay them soon.
He noted that Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu explained to them the challenges encountered by counties during this time and that there is a case in court over the stalemate between the Senate and National assembly.
The Senate is demanding 335 billion to go to the Devolved Units to strength the devolution while the National Assembly seeks to have 316 billion go to the Counties.
“Governor has explained to us the obstacles they are facing and as a union we need to agree that there is no money in our County Government due to this battle between the national assembly and the senate, I request all workers to resume their jobs to serve the residents of kitui.” Munyalo said.
He questioned the reaction of Kenya National Union of Nurses – kitui branch who disagreed with Ngilu’s statement citing that Ngilu had told them to be patient as this county is collecting very little revenue which cannot pay all workers at the same time without a support from National Government.
“I wonder why the nurse leaders in kitui cannot come in an agreement with other unions to show solidarity, I therefore wish to tell them that even if we down our tools two weeks either at home or at work, the salary will be the same since our money is there. Let us come together as unions to support each other.” the secretary General added.
Munyalo however cautioned that they have not called off their strike but just suspended citing that if salaries would not be in their accounts in two weeks time, they will strike till the government pays them. Kitui County Staff went on strike on the 13th August demanding payment of July salaries.
“We have not called off our strike but just suspended it, if after 14days we will not have been paid then we will continue with our strike.” Munyalo told the journalists.
Governor Charity Ngilu while addressing members of press, urged all workers to resume their duties citing that she is sure in two weeks to come, money will be in their accounts for both July and August salaries.
“I beg all workers of my government who have been in strike to resume in their job with immediate effect to serve the interest of kitui people. I was with Senate speaker Ken Lusaka this week and he assured me that the National Government will release money to counties before the end of this month. Therefore, let us stay with hope that counties will have money soon and we will pay for both July and August salaries.” Ngilu pleaded.
She also threatened to employ new nurses to serve in hospitals for a period of time, if the nurses in strike will not have resumed in their job.
“Health sector is the key to the livelihoods of kitui people and If the nurses would not have resumed in their job then i will seek an alternative to employ other qualified nurses for a period of time, because we cannot wait our patients to die in hospitals.”she threatened.