Over 1,500 Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) issued new demands to President William Ruto and his administration, Friday, April 14, over what they termed as a lack of better recognition, respect, and equity in their work conditions.
The MCAs lamented that they were being treated unfairly, especially regarding salary packages and corresponding allowances, despite the government struggling to pay MPs and civil servants.
Ward Representatives condemned the stark differences between their work conditions and those of Governors, Members of Parliament, Senators, and the President.
"MCAs' office operations are inadequately funded, with a lack of ward funds for elected members and an affirmative fund for nominated members.
Governor Johnson Sakaja
"This hinders their ability to carry out their duties effectively and serve their constituents," read the statement by MCAs.
MCAs claimed that the lack of proper representation of their interests had seen them receive inadequate salaries considering the prevailing economic conditions compared to their national government counterparts.
The MCAs also revealed that they can’t effectively oversight governors who earn millions, while the MCAs have big titles but earn salaries lower than deputy directors in county governments.
Ward Representatives wondered why they were not entitled to a pension like their National Assembly and Senate counterparts.
"For instance, the Ksh109,000 quarterly ward imprest is expected to pay office rent and 3 staff members for the MCAs.
"Which office will you rent at a maximum of Ksh 18,000 monthly in Kitusuru, Parklands, Karen, Kileleshwa and Kilimani and still use the remaining Ksh18,000 to pay 3 employees?
"This amount might be appropriate in some far-flung rural counties but not in Nairobi where even a bedsitter in Kileleshwa is rented at not less than Ksh30,000 per month," the MCAs wondered.
The MCAs noted that they were working on forming a County Assemblies Service Commission that will evaluate their issues.
Among the issues they sought to address included the slashing of their salaries and double taxation as previously recommended by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC).
The yet-to-be-formed County Assemblies Service Commission will also ensure that MCAs are treated fairly and that their interests are represented.
The MCAs equally condemned the recent killing of an MCA in Kakamega and increased threats to them by those opposed to assertive ward representatives.
"Apart from a few voices from Kakamega, no single national leader condemned the recent brutal murder of the Kisa East MCA," the MCAs observed.
On Friday, April 14, medical unions also down their tools due to delayed salaries and allowances.
The eight unions noted that the government had not paid them their March 2023 salaries as required by the Law and signed agreements.
Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU), Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN), Kenya Union of Clinical Officers(KUCO), Kenya National Union of PharmaceuticalTechnologists, Kenya Health Professional Society, Kenya Union of Nutritionists and Dieticians declared that their workers will not report to work as from Wednesday, April 19.