Union officials cry foul over non-reimbursement of travel costs

The Kenya Union of Civil Servants (KUCS) training in Meru County was interrupted after participants differed over reimbursement of their travelling allowances.

Union branch officials drawn from three counties of Meru, Isiolo and Marsabit raised concern over what they termed as downgrading of travel cost from their duty stations.

According to them, the training organized by the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) was unsuccessful since their welfare had not been fully addressed since they were expecting a transport reimbursement which never happened.

A standstill ensued on Thursday after the participants were told that they would be paid between Sh.3, 000 and Sh.6, 000 to cater for their travel expenses, which was lower than in previous training they had in 2012.

The officials claimed they had spent more on the road with those from far flung areas protesting that the amount was a mockery since they had appealed for it to be upgraded.

Those from Moyale in Marsabit had to spend a night in hotels before getting to the venue of the training. The three counties are vast and one can’t travel within a day, said Liban Waqo, the Moyale Branch Union Chairman.

Waqo said the welfare of those in arid and semi-arid area had not been adequately addressed and as union officials, they would have difficulties sensitizing their members over the NHIF medical scheme.

Addressing the media at a Meru Hotel, the branch officials said consultations with the organizers of the event had not borne fruits putting implementation of the programme in their localities at risk.

We had been invited as Trainers of Trainers but the experience has reduced our morale. Some of us spent a lot on the way for meals and accommodation, claimed Waqo.

The officials lamented that they did not require posh hotels for training if their travelling expenses were not factored.

We need the training but the organizers should also look into the welfare of the participants especially regarding their movement from their duty stations, said Fatuma Boru from Merti branch.

The training was called off without any payment of the allowances that the participants contested, with some of them remaining stranded at the venue, since they had one way fare, as they expected reimbursement to enable them reach home.

Facilitators of the training could not be reached for a comment.

Source: Kenya News Agency