Tom Odege Warns CS Kuria On Plans To Scrap Permanent Terms For Civil Servants

By The Weekly Vision Team

Public Service Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria has been faulted for threatening to place all government employees on contract terms. In a press statement sent to newsrooms, the Union of Kenya Civil Servants secretary general, Hon. Tom Odege, who is also MP for Nyatike, said the labour movement in the country and civil servants, in particular, would not succumb to hollow threats that can only be arrived at through legislative policy changes but not roadside declarations.

Mr Odege termed the threats a way of undermining the collective bargaining agreements following the continued strike by medical doctors, which has entered Day 44. “We are aware of attempts to arm-twist doctors into going back to their work stations through threats and intimidation, which will not solve the situation at all without addressing the 2017 CBA signed with the government,” Mr Odege said in the statement, adding that since the courts had outlawed the positions of CAS, the government should use that money to pay doctors in a return-to-work form devoid of threats of sacking.

Mr Odege has described as unfortunate the decision by some county governors to issue dismissal letters to striking doctors, saying this was hardly a tenable way of addressing the problem, adding that the terms of service are clear under the law and the right to picket for better terms is enshrined in the constitution. “How is dismissing doctors who are within their rights a solution to the problem plaguing public hospitals?” Mr. Odege pondered.

A member of the civil servants governing council, Mr Wilson Asingo, supported Mr Odege, further faulting the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) for failing to advise the government properly, adding that threats of putting all civil servants under contract terms were not feasible nor tenable under the law as they have to be enacted into law through a legislative policy document in parliament.

He said purporting to put all public service workers on contract is against the current permanent and pensionable terms, in a manner described by the CS, was a total nullity and seems to lend credence to vile attacks on the labour movement in the country by elements bent on capturing its collective voice and constitutional right to stand for its right to better wages.