Nairobi County workers have given the National Treasury seven days to clear their July and August salary arrears failure to which they will paralyse services in the city.
The workers, through their union, attributed their predicament to Treasury’s discriminate funding of the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) at the expense of Nairobi County government.
The ultimatum comes after last week, City Hall, through the acting County Secretary Justus Kathenge, announced to the workers that their August salaries will be delayed as the Treasury was yet to disburse funds.
The disbursement delay stems from the current stalemate over counties revenue sharing formula at the Senate, but the workers hold the Treasury responsible, reckoning that if it had fairly allocated funds, they would have cash in their accounts.
Kenya County Government Workers Union Nairobi branch secretary Boniface Waweru said the Treasury should immediately to clear the arrears on behalf of the county government until the Senate dispenses with the debate on the allocation.
Mr Waweru wondered why workers should be left holding the short end of the stick yet NMS has enough money in its coffers to pay salaries.
“If the our demands are not met, we do hereby issue a seven-day notice to paralyse all services in Nairobi and parade our members at City Hall and National Treasury until all the demands are met,” said Mr Waweru.
At the same time the union has asked NMS to stay away from staff payroll since it is not the workers employer.
Mr Waweru said the payroll should be maintained by the county government, noting that the legitimate employers of all county employees is the Nairobi County Public Service Board.
He argued that NMS was declared an illegal entity by the Employment and Labour Relations court in May and with 90 days given to regularise the new office, it was yet to do so.
Consequently, the secretary wondered why an institution that was declared illegal and even if legalised has only a lifespan of two years wants to take over the payroll.
“We have noted with great concern of the concerted efforts by NMS to have the payroll of Nairobi County government workers who were seconded to them without involving the union and contrary to the wish of the county government and the Board. The transfer of the payroll will only serve to occasion distortion, inconsistencies and loss of benefits for our members,” he said.
City Hall has slightly more than 12,000 staff. Some 6,852 were, however transferred to NMS in April by the Public Service Commission.
However, attempts by NMS for the payroll to be handed over to them so that salaries of the staff be moved to them has been thwarted by City Hall.