NAIROBI , KENYA – Disgruntled Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) staff plan to strike on February 23 to press for full-scale reforms at the state broadcaster and better pay, according to a report by Jackal News.

“We have issued a notice to the government and the KBC management of our intention to go on strike on February 23,” the source told the Jackal News, while handing over the several documents. “The management has ignored our earlier communication to them. That is why we took the decision to issue a strike notice.”

 According to a memorandum by the staff to the management, the company had resorted to victimizing and intimidating those who raise concerns over working conditions and pay.

Editor’s Note: As a media house BUSINESS TODAY supports the staff of KBC and their planned action and urge its management and government to act. As professionals journalists deserve better pay. This will also help reduce unprofessional conduct among journalists which includes taking bribes and paid for stories on radio and TV. We tell them: Kenya’s Watching  

 We reproduce part of the memorandum below:

 

“As you may be aware, a memorandum was served to your office on the 6th day of December 2011 and so far no communication has been heard from your office.

That instead of responding to the concerns raised by employees the management has resorted to victimization and intimidation of those who are now deemed to have actively contributed in the raising of the genuine concerns

As a result we the employees of the corporation would like to state as follows.

That the office of the Attorney General and that of the Commission for Implementation of the Constitution  give their  interpretation on the statutes of the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation as recognised by article 34( 4) of the Constitution of Kenya 2010

That the low salary in the corporation is partly attributable to a large number of employees who have no requisite certificates and who were brought in the Corporation through nepotism and or cronyism.

That the same law salaries has contributed in the corporation being a training ground therefore failing its obligation under article 230 (5) (b) of the constitution that calls public institution to attract people with requisite skills to discharge their mandate

That if the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation’s managing director gets the same salaries and perks of office as managing directors of other government parastatals or department there is no reason why workers under him should not be paid like worker in those other parastatals

That as a consequence the employees of the corporation would like the vetting of all the board members and employees of the corporation.

That the board and top management do not meet the constitutional requirement on gender parity as provided for by Articles 27 (8) 91(1) (f)

The management continues to violate gender requirements; out of the 20 new interns 16 are female while 4 are male. This is in total disregard of Chapter 10 of the new constitution.

That since the demise of the Deputy Managing director in 2004 the organogram of the corporation still maintains this position yet no one has been appointed to the position.

That the salaries and remuneration commission, as it harmonizes salaries for public servants, it is incumbent upon it to address the disparities in remuneration for the corporation’s staff

We are aware that all the scholarships from the government and intended for KBC staff have been given to undeserving cases. That the 2011/2012 Commonwealth Broadcasting Association scholarship was given to someone who has never submitted professional /academic certificates.

That failure to address this issue within 30 days from the date of this memo, that is the 20th day of February 2012, the employees will have no choice but invoke the right given to them by Article 41 (2) (d)[1]

 That ours is a constitutional strike and has nothing to do with the statute attaches the right to serve a strike notice to a trade union. Article 41 does not tie a strike to a trade union.

 Even if we were to tie this to a union, the management cannot be allowed to continue benefiting from its own wrong doing.

 That on the 5th day of February 2009, the Industrial Court ruled against KBC for refusing[2] and or declining to recognise the workers union. The judges were very categorical that the corporation had defied ministerial decree and did not mince it word in its ruling[3]

 The same court found the corporation in breach of good faith in recognising[4] a robust union for the employees. By refusing to initiate dialogue and or talks with employees almost two month after the first memorandum was served the corporation is in contravention of Article 47 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 that calls for an administrative action that is expeditious, efficient, lawful reasonable and procedurally fair. It is from the foregoing that we feel constraints to resort to the language of article 41 as the last resort.”

 

CC

 Office of the attorney general

 Constitutional Implementation Commission

 The minister for information and Communication

 The Media Council

 Kenya Union of Journalist

 

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