Meru MCAs urge Executive to rehire sacked casual workers

Wednesday March 18 2020
Kiraitu

Meru Deputy Governor Titus Ntuchiu and Governor Kiraitu Murungi at a past event. The Meru County Assembly has demanded the reinstatement of casual workers, terming their sacking unlawful. PHOTO | PHOEBE OKALL | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By ISABEL GITHAE

The Meru County Assembly has demanded the reinstatement of casual workers, terming their sacking unlawful.

The sectoral Committee on Labour, Public Service and Social Welfare, which handled a public petition by a section of the workers, directed the County Public service Board to retain those who have served for more than five years.

COMMITTEE

“The committee finds the alleged ‘casual employees’ are not casual workers within the meaning of section 2 of the Employment Act,” states the report that was presented by Njia MCA Isaiah Kanyaru.

He is the chairperson of the committee.

The committee also wants the Public Service Board to suspend the ongoing recruitment of support staff, including cleaners, loaders, night guards, gardeners and daily attendants.

Casual workers had presented a petition to the Meru County Assembly and wanted the Executive retain them.

They were sacked on January 31.

Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi in January announced that the county would fire 1,030 casual workers following recommendations of an audit report done by Deloitte Consulting. 

WAGE BILL

Mr Kanyaru told the assembly that the Meru County Public Service Board had cited a high wage bill hence the need to terminate the workers.

“Executive for Legal Affairs and Public Service Management, Kiautha Ariithi, told the committee that by laying off all casual workers, the county would save Sh15 million per month,” said the Njia ward MCA

But the MCAs observed that laying off casual workers would not help the county save money.

“If the workers are hired on contract terms, the government will have to pay more. Something has to be done by the County Public Board,” said Athiru Gaiti MCA Adamson Muriki, who opposed the lay-offs.

Nkuene MCA Martin Koome said casual workers who had worked for the county for several years should be given a send-off package.

MCAs gave the Executive 14 days to make public the human resource audit report conducted by Deloitte consulting firm. 

“The continued failure to make the report public amounts to an infringement on the right of access to information,” reads the assembly committee’s report.