Why Homabay County Employees  Are Demoralised?

Why Homabay County Employees Are Demoralised?

Are Homabay County staff a demoralized and demotivated lot, knowing some have not been paid their wages for upto four months... In an evolving text

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Are Homabay County staff a demoralized and demotivated lot, knowing some have not been paid their wages for upto four months…

In an evolving textbook example, of how to destroy employee morale, some Homabay County employees, have just received their September 2018 salaries at the end of October 2018.  The employees received their salaries on various dates from the 21st October, with the last set of employees receiving their September salaries on 24th October 2018.

However, some casual cadre employees continue to have outstanding salary payments. Notably, the bulk of the casual employees have salary arrears, some have outstanding payments of upto four months!  In the circumstances, it is little surprise the employees are not motivated?

While the salary delay has been an ongoing concern among the County Medical Department Staff, among others over the last couple of months.  The situation seemed to have gotten out of hand, when the June and July 2018 salaries were paid in August, reportedly due to wrangling among the MCAs, allegedly over the lack of the statutory required public partipation in the budgeting process.

The budget was however later passed in unclear circumstances following reported “retreats” in Kisumu and later in Mwanza, Tanzania.

The County employees however continue to experience delays in the payment of salaries.  A delay – in payment of salaries at the end of the following month – now seems to have become the “new normal”!

Hurting Employee Morale

It is disconcerting, that honest professionals in a vital sector of this county once considered the “County of Choice” are being demoralised and demotivated  at a critical point, when the sector is struggling to provide services under difficult circumstances.  And yet, it is also true that they are not the only County workers whose pay delays.

Some casual employees have reportedly not be paid their wages for and unbelievable eight months!

This delay – with payment of salaries at the end of the following month – now seems to have become the “new normal”.

Various attempts to obtain a comment from the County Public Service Commission were futile.

Communication a Crucial Ingredient 

Reportedly, apart from communication in August, following the June / July salary delay, there has been no formal communication forth coming from the County Administration to the concerned employees – when there is an anticipated delay in salaries.

Obviously developments of one sort or another has affected the Countys’ accounts operations, as often happens in different institutions. These upsets maybe involve unforeseen circumstances, that are largely inevitable, while others may be down to sheer incompetence. Whichever way, the affected employees are owed an explanation.

Besides, its the very nature of good management to communicate, and failure by those responsible in the County Administration to inform those with whose stewardship they are charged about what is happening leads to suspicion and mistrust.

In this case, while a rumour has circulated, that this seemingly county-specific-delay is because the one months’ salary for employees was diverted to meet other ….County expenses…….. And while this is possibly not true, but if there is no explanation saying otherwise, such disinformation can gain credibility in some minds.

With the appointment of a new Public Service Commission Chairperson, Mr. Stephen Karogo, we trust that such blatant disrespect for the rights of employees will come to an abrupt halt.

And so …… 

Quite apart from the obvious need to avoid inconveniencing its employees, with the inevitable knock-on-effect on service delivery,  it is crucial that the County Administration keeps the employee morale high even in the direst of circumstances. Being proactive will certainly go a long way in ensuring this – communicate and resolve.

With September salary paid, at the end of October, one can’t help wonder when the County Administraiton will pay the October 2018 salary. I trust those charged are reading this too…. and on occasion occupy themselves with the kind of legacy they wish to leave, if they do. 

Thanks you to all those who continue to providing gallant service despite the adversity!