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Striking council workers ask Otuoma to effect deal

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By LILIAN OCHIENG'

Posted  Tuesday, January 22  2013 at  18:21

In Summary

  • The workers downed tools last week demanding that a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) signed between their union and the Local Government Ministry be implemented.

Kisumu

The strike by local authorities workers is costing the Municipal Council of Kisumu Sh2 million daily, a union official has claimed, as the industrial action entered its sixth day Tuesday.

The workers downed tools last week demanding that a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) signed between their union and the Local Government Ministry be implemented.

Services delivered by the local authorities in Kisumu have been paralysed since last Thursday.

Motorists have not been paying parking fees because there are no workers to collect the money while the town centre is littered with trash as garbage goes uncollected.

The employees report to their work station daily then gather outside the council premises awaiting the decision from Local Government minister Paul Otuoma regarding the CBA that would award them a salary increment they are demanding.

According to Local Government Workers Union branch secretary Rashid Ondu, the council has been losing close to Sh2 million daily as a result of the strike

“In Kisumu alone we are about 1,200 workers who have downed tools and we are urging the Local Government minister and the government to consent to the registration of the CBA or else we will continue with the strike,” he said.

“The collective bargaining agreement sees our salary increment after two years, in 2010, the salaries were increased by 40 per cent for the higher earning employees and 60 per cent lower earners, this year we are only asking for 35 against 60 per cent respectively.”

The workers said that what they are asking for is not much because the money that they collect daily in revenues is what constitutes their monthly pay.

“We will not work until Dr Otuoma signs the CBA, we need it because the cost of living has gone high,” said Mr Ondu.

Town Clerk Christopher Rusana said the Ministry of Local Government was handling the dispute.

“Labour minister instructed that the CBA be taken to the Industrial Court for registration pending a meeting with the ministry officials in the government today (Wednesday),” said Mr Rusana.