Busia health workers down tools in protest against poor conditions

A screengrab showing healthcare workers in Busia County staging a go-slow on July 14, 2023.[Standard, file]

Medics in Busia County on Friday, July 14, 2023, downed tools to protest poor working conditions and salary arrears.

They marched to the offices of Busia Governor Paul Otuoma and the Public Service Commission (PSC) to present their grievances.

The medics accused the county government of failing to increase their salaries, despite the high cost of living.

They also said that the county had not provided them with sufficient protective gear or sanitary facilities at their workplaces.

Additionally, they were frustrated by delayed salary payments.

The strike followed the expiry of a 14-day joint notice issued by the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU), the Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN), and the Kenya Union of Clinical Officers (KUCO).

The unions demanded that the county government take steps to address their concerns.

PSC Chair Michael Onyura urged the healthcare practitioners to return to work, promising that their complaints were being addressed.

However, the medical professionals vowed to remain on strike until all their grievances had been addressed to their satisfaction.

They demanded the immediate promotion of over 200 healthcare workers who had received promotion letters in 2022 but had not had their promotions implemented, resulting in accrued arrears.

They also asked for prompt interviews to be conducted for another 100 colleagues who had been identified as suitable for promotion.

The strike comes after health workers in Machakos County called off their planned strike after they reached an agreement with the county government.

The Machakos workers had threatened to go on strike on Monday to protest delayed promotions and poor working conditions.

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