Tharaka Nithi nurses issue a two-week ultimatum to hold strike


Kenya National Union of Nurses Tharaka Nithi Chairman Mr Fabian Marigu addressing journalist's at Chuka general hospital. He gave the county government two weeks ultimatum to address their grievance's or hold a strike. [PHOTO:KEVIN NGAI/STANDARD]

Nurses in Tharaka-Nithi have given the county government a two week ultimatum to resolve their grievances failure to which they will call for a strike.

This comes at a time when the notice for strike that they had earlier issued expired yesterday.

Speaking to journalists after holding a consultative meeting with health officials in the county, Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) branch chairman Fabian Marigu, said the county government has a tendency of waiting until they go on strike when they appear to should commitment of addressing their concerns.

The union demands to know why salaries for some of its members has been stopped without any notice or explanation and further demanding timely payment of salaries, harmonization of allowances and promotion and re-designation of deserving members.

The Chairman said a total of 133 health workers have been scrapped from the payroll being termed as ghost workers.

Last week Governor Samuel Ragwa announced to have scrapped a total of 300 ghost workers from the county payroll.

"Someone has been working for the National government for ten years but when he comes to work in Tharaka Nithi he is termed as a ghost worker," he said.

The union also claims that some nurses have been transferred unlawfully.

He added that the government should promptly remit statutory deductions such the National Health Insurance Funds fees and loan deductions to avoid penalties.

He said a member of the union is held at St Onsolla hospital in Meru county for failing to clear hospital bills.

"We have organised a fundraiser to help one of us foot medical bills at St Onsola hospital. If the county had remitted the NHIF we could not be facing this," Marigu said.

He urged his members to prepare to boycott work on November 7 if their demands will not have been addressed conclusively.

County Chief Officer of health Walter Mugambi said the National government had agreed to take the backlog of promoting workers who were absorbed by the county government in 2013.

He said county government alone has promoted 84 health workers since it took office in 2013."The central government has agreed to take the backlog and has set aside sh 17.8 million for promoting health workers who joined the county in 2013," he said.