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Port workers to receive pay rise

More than 4,000 Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) workers have a reason to smile following an approval to increase their salaries by ten per cent.

This follows an endorsement of a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), between the Dock Workers Union (DWU) and the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) management.

The development also followed recommendation by the National Assembly Committee on Labour and Social Welfare to the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC), to reconsider its position and urgently approve the two-year CBA between the DWU and KPA.

On Thursday, the Labour Committee, led by Mwea Member of Parliament (MP) Kibinga Wachira, presented its Report and recommendations before the floor of the House.

The Committee had visited Mombasa in August on a fact finding mission on the stalemate, following a petition taken to Parliament by Mvita Legislature Abdulswamad Nassir.

“In conclusion the Committee recommends that SRC reconsiders its decision and urgently approves the two-year collective agreement, to pave the way for the Financial Year 2022/2023 negotiations and unlock the stalemate on the payment of the employees dues negotiated for the Financial  Year 2021/2022,” said Wachira.

DWU General Secretary, Simon Sang, said the Committee’s recommendation is going to pave the way for further negotiations for the Financial Year 2022/2023 CBA.

Sang said that the long standing stalemate between the Union and the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) was over. He said the stalemate on the implementation of the CBA had affected the morale of over 5,000 employees.

Early this year, the workers’ Union and KPA signed a salary increment CBA of 10 per cent spread over two years beginning 2021 to 2022.

“For the first time in many years the morale of KPA employees is at its lowest, this is  because of the crude manner in which management is handling workers’ issues, especially the HR office,” said Sang.

He insisted that there was no law allowing SRC to deny KPA from implementing the CBA, adding that KPA did not required to get funds from the government to implement it as it was self-sufficient.

The General Secretary stated that any reforms by the Authority should only focus on enhancing performance and not touching on the salaries and wages earned by the employees.

“Reforms at KPA should enhance performance and not touch on the wages and salaries earned by workers, this will demoralize the morale of workers,” said Sang.

In terms of port performance, the Union stated that the Port was performing below capacity based on the 2018/2019 CBA that envisioned the Port to be among the top in Africa in transshipment business by 2022.

The Dock Workers Union Boss also accused a section of his members of allegedly colluding with some management officials to split the Union. Sang issued a stern warning to those behind the division, promising to deal with them.

“We are going to crush them to political ‘death’. All those who think that they can collude with management to split the Union, let them try it and see,” said sang.

By Galgalo Bocha

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