National Workshop in Kenya on the ILO Guidelines on Social Dialogue in Public Emergency Service in a Changing Environment

A national workshop in Kenya on the ILO Guidelines on Social Dialogue in Public Emergency Services (PESs) in a Changing Environment was organized as a follow-up to the adoption of the Guidelines by the ILO’s Joint Meeting on Social Dialogue in PESs (Geneva, 27-31 January 2003) and the Governing Body decision requesting the Director-General to promote them through appropriate actions. The objectives of the workshop were to promote ILO Guidelines on Social Dialogue in the PESs, to review the national study commissioned by the ILO; and to agree on strategies for improving social dialogue in PESs in Kenya.

Mr. Leopold Mureithi presented the study “Social Dialogue in PESs: A Case Study on Kenya.” Mr. Mureithi concluded that strengthened social dialogue in PESs would help improve on issues like working hours, medical and insurance coverage for fire fighters, PPE, tools and vehicles in PESs, and effectiveness. The services had to be funded adequately for workers to perform their duties effectively. Above all, they should be able to fully exercise their freedom of association, through industrial trade unions or craft unions, and the right to bargain collectively for better terms and services so as to be able to remain motivated and committed to their professions.

Workshop participants discussed the issues highlighted in the national study. Each group presented its results and recommendations. The consolidated recommendations for improved social dialogue in PESs in Kenya, adopted by the participants, indicate what role each of the ILO’s tripartite constituents in Kenya was expected to assume for improved social dialogue for quality service delivery in PESs focusing on the issues of shortages of funds and employment levels, benefits and allowances, OSH, further training and working conditions.