Private guards’ union claims government ignoring watchmen in war on Covid-19 – VIDEO
The Kenya National Private Security Workers’ Union has raised concerns over “discrimination” of private guards despite their role in the fight against Covid-19.
The union’s Secretary General Isaac Adambwa said guards are frontline workers who receive patients in hospitals and those gaining entry into every institution, and have now been tasked with checking their temperatures.
Adambwa said a spot check in Nairobi, Eldoret and Kisumu established that although guards’ duties is protecting properties and complementing national security agencies, the security box in every institution has been converted to a triage for checking of temperatures of those gaining entry.
He said that is an extra duty because the roles of guards include securing property and complementing police. And the same came without preparation.
“We have been demanding that private security should be professionalized. But even before that, you can see we have been given additional roles as health workers. And we have been given this duty without prior training. We are calling on the government to consider guards when planning for the allowances,”Adambwa said.
“We are not asking the government to budget for us, we only want the government to enforce the minimum wage policy to enable the guards afford basic needs. We cannot afford alcoholic sanitisers but the most effective way according to the Ministry of Health is washing hands with water and soap regularly that is possible to us.”
He said the Ministry of Health is doing well but faulted it for ignoring guards.
The guards have been gazetted as essential services providers but have been left out of all the allowances set aside for those helping government in fighting Covid-19.
“Recently they gave allowances to the people working in mortuaries but patients must meet the security guard checking their temperatures before they go into consultation room to meet a doctor,” he said.
For instance, Adambwa said health workers are asked to remain at work stations for some period after duty on suspicion that they may be carrying the virus and may infect their families, but the guards are going home immediately after work.
Adambwa said government needs to set aside funds for sensitisation of guards in all counties.
“Because after testing the visitors’ temperature all day, the guard is going back to his family. Why should you discriminate yet we are working in similar environment. Guards should be given a token because they are also out helping the government in fighting Coronavirus,”Adambwa said.
“I am not asking the government to budget – I only want the government to enforce the minimum wage and ensure compliance by all employers so that the guards get a better pay package that can enable the guards to buy water and soap.”