Governors: All new workers to be hired on contract only

Deputy President William Ruto greets Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho during the Seventh National and County Governments Summit at Sagana State Lodge, Nyeri County. [Mose Sammy, Standard] Nurses working in counties will no longer be employed on a permanent and pensionable basis. They will instead join the county workforce on contract basis.The resolution was made during the seventh session of the National and County Government Coordinating Summit held yesterday in Sagana, Nyeri County.The summit was held between governors and President Uhuru Kenyatta, ahead of the devolution conference.

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Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki and Governor Mutahi Kahiga confirmed the resolutions, saying counties would be seeking to have a new approach in engaging their workforce.“Right now it is standard practice to hire workers on contract basis. It has been a trend that the new generation of employees doesn’t stay for long in one work place, and this move is just catching up with the times,” said Mr Kahiga.Three-year contractsKahiga added that every employee in the county government is on contract and therefore, moving forward, they shall engage all new staff on contract basis including nurses who will get three-year contracts.“This has been the case across the country. For instance, I have a five-year contract to work for the people of Nyeri and that should apply to every one,” Kahiga explained.

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During the summit, the governors who have been under pressure to control their growing recurrent budgets noted that such control would go a long way in reducing the wage bill.The move to employ workers on contract basis would also reduce the pension emoluments which counties pay to permanent and pensionable workers.The emoluments have turned into a huge debt that counties are grappling with.“Counties have been carrying the huge debt which they owe pensioners. So far the debt stands at Sh1 trillion and nobody wants to increase that burden,” Kahiga said.Ms Kariuki and her Devolution counterpart Eugene Wamalwa toured Nyeri County Referral Hospital to benchmark on the Universal Health Care pilot program in Nyeri County.

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Kariuki said that the decision to hire employees on contract basis was seeking to standardise the workforce between the national and the county public service.“This is about productivity in the workplace. It is not just about the nurses or health workers in general, this is about all the county government workers,” she said.Mr Wamalwa noted that the summit sought solutions to the challenges facing devolution such as corruption, which he stated had been devolved to the counties.“Ongoing concerns both from the governors and the national government surrounding the increase of funds to the county were discussed at the summit, “he said.The CS stated that while counties were demanding more funds, the devolved units must focus on their internal source of revenue is key to development to use for development.

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He pointed out a policy approved by the cabinet on improving own source revenues within counties and lauded 14 counties that had embraced technology to improvements in streamlining revenue collections.

Devolution conferenceCounty wage billNational and County Government Coordinating Summit

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