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Nairobi County signs deal with workers to end standoff

The Nairobi County government has signed an agreement with the Kenya County Government Workers Union to end a strike that began on Monday, 29 May.

The agreement was signed on Tuesday morning by the Acting County Secretary, Mr Patrick Analo, and the Secretary of the City branch of the union, Mr Calvin Okello, and witnessed by the County Executive Boroughs and Administration, Mr Ibrahim Auma.

The union had submitted several grievances to Governor Johnson Sakaja’s administration to improve workers’ welfare.

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The union raised several concerns, including the ongoing renovation of the town hall annex, which they claimed caused disturbances due to noise and dust. They also raised an issue with access to toilets.

Additionally, they criticized the county for not reimbursing unlawfully deducted PAYE from constables and firefighters. They also mentioned issues such as non-payment of staff allowances, imprest, medical reimbursements, and per diems. Specifically, they highlighted the need to reimburse Sh20 million for staff allowances and Sh80 million for pensioners, pending approval by the Office of the Controller of Budget.

Furthermore, the union accused the county government of neglecting to complete the processes related to promotions, retirements, and the appropriate placement of all eligible staff members.

Cases of harassment of staff were also raised, with the union stating that the issue had escalated and should be addressed immediately.

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The County Service Public Board was also asked to address the issue of staff shortages by the next financial year.

Following the agreement, all county employees have been asked to return to work with immediate effect and a follow-up meeting on the agreed issues will be held on 14 June.

Last week, some of the council’s inspectors based at the Town Hall Annexe complained about a lack of alternative toilets for them after a contractor moved in.

According to Lydiah Mathia, Acting Chief Officer for Boroughs, Administration and Personnel, the inconvenience in the annex is due to the need for a new drainage system.

“The toilets on the ground floor should be ready for use by 3 June. The toilets on the mezzanine floor will be open when we open the floor. The reason for the inconvenience is that we had to demolish and rebuild the entire drainage system. The ones on the ground floor will be used while the rest of the work continues,” she told Nairobi News.

The governor has been holding meetings with the workers every four months to listen to their grievances.

The governor said that because of his close relationship with the city workers, their salaries have not been delayed as in the past.

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