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Clinical officers suspend strike after accepting govenors’ plea

By Graham Kajilwa | January 20th 2017
Secretary General Kenya Union of Clinical Officers George Gibore(right) flanked by Acting Secretary General Kenya National Union of Nurse Eunice Ngairi (left) during a press conference. (Photo: Willis Awandu/Standard)

A task force drawn from the national government, counties and clinical officers' union has 14 days to come up with proposals designed to address the grievances of clinicians.

In a meeting convened yesterday by the Council of Governors (CoG) it was unanimously agreed that the clinical officers should give room to the team to complete its work.

Present were CoG Human Resource Chair Kisii Governor James Ongwae, Health Committee Chair Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma and Nakuru Governor Kinuthia Mbugua.

Other agencies that will also take part in the talks to start on Monday are the Salaries and Remuneration Commission, Public Service Commission (PSC), National Treasury, Ministry of Health, and Kenya Health Professional Society.

The County Public Service Boards will  steer the discussions. Before this decision was made, the Kenya Union of Clinical Officers (KUCO) had threatened to ask its members to down their tools.

"We are considering extending the suspension of the strike. However, we cannot make that decision yet until the union's National Executive Council (NEC) meets to deliberate on the next move," said Kuco Secretary General George Gibore.

The union had suspended the strike on December 14  last year for 45 days but the deadline lapses tomorrow. Governor Ongwae said by initiating the talks, CoG had demonstrated its commitment to address issues raised by clinical officers.

"What we all agreed on is to form a committee made up of officers from county public service boards and other government agencies to come up with a workable document," said Mr Ongwae. Currently clinical officers have been relying on a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry, CoG and PSC to spell out their terms of service.

Kuco Chair Peterson Wachira said the MOU calls for salaries to be harmonised.  "Our diploma interns do not get paid and we had to fight to get those doing degrees to be put on payroll," he said.

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