The hiring of nurses and other county government employees on contracts will lower the pension debt in both the counties and country, Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga has said.
Kahiga said governors and the National Government reached the decision so as to ensure counties do not run into pension debts.
“Currently Kenya owes pensioners one trillion Kenyan shillings. Who wants to increase that?” he asked.
The governor said the longer employees are in office, the bigger the pension debt becomes.
The best way is to give employees contracts which will also give them leeway to leave if they so wish though the contract will be renewable.
Asked whether the decision was informed by the recent nurses strike, Kahiga said it has been a standard practice to hire not only nurses but even other employees on a contract basis.
He said the decision was informed on the basis that the new generation of employees don’t stay in a place for too long.
The decision is said to have been passed in a summit between national and county government officials chaired by President Uhuru Kenyatta at Sagana State lodge in Nyeri.
However, Kahiga said the new arrangement will not affect those who were employed earlier on a permanent basis.
It will be a three-year contract and will affect new employees who will be coming on board, he said.
“Those who are in service now have their terms and conditions. If you are permanent and pensionable, you will continue until you finish your years of service,” he said
Kahiga said counties have been under pressure from the Controller of Budget to reduce the county wage bill.
He spoke when he accompanied the Health CS Sicily Kariuki on Monday evening to the Nyeri County Referral Hospital ahead of the start of the devolution conference.
The CS had visited the facility to inspect its functions since the launch of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) on December 13 last year.