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County starts paying nurses' allowances to avert strike

By Maureen Ongala | Published Thu, February 23rd 2017 at 00:00, Updated February 22nd 2017 at 22:27 GMT +3
Clinical officers and other health worker cadres demonstrate outside Embu Govenror Martin Wambora’s office to demand for risk allowance and health service allowance after they boycott work yesterday paralysing operations at public hospitals yesterday (February 22, 2017). They complained that they were left out when the government gave the two allowances to doctors and nurses. (PHOTO: JOSEPH MUCHIRI/STANDARD)

The Kilifi County government has begun paying allowances to striking nurses.

This comes after a one-month delay that led to a go-slow in public hospitals on Monday.

Health Chief Officer Timothy Malingi blamed the delay to pay service allowance to the nurses on lack of directions from the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC).

“Normally, allowances are included in the salaries and SRC is the only body that has been mandated to give directions on how the money is to be paid. The nurses were to get their allowances by January 31, according to the agreement with their union leaders, but in the absence of these directions, they were delayed,” he said.

Following the delay, nurses in the county’s public health facilities began a go-slow early this week.

But according to the health official, the county started paying the allowances on Tuesday.

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“As per now, the allowances are in their bank accounts,” he said.

Mr Malingi also announced that all qualified county health workers will be considered for promotion.

He said most nurses had not attached all the necessary documents required for promotion, including practising licences, and well filled appraisal forms.

“The nurses have delayed the promotion process because they have not attached all the required documents. (Their) Appraisal forms have also not being filled properly. We have been forced to postpone meetings waiting for the documents,” he said.

However, the health official said a total of 630 county health workers out of 1,200 were promoted in 2015.

More cases are being evaluated for promotion, with 150 health workers (including 23 nurses) due for promotion.

According to Malingi, 56 nurses are still waiting to go through the promotion evaluation process that is expected to be complete in three weeks time.

The nurses are expected to resume work today.

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