Hospitals paralysed after health staff resume strike
Thorny issuesAmong the thorny issues the workers claim have not been implemented include promotion arrears dating back to 2014. “We have rejected the government’s offer to pay us our arrears in piecemeal even after passing the supplementary budget that allocated Sh60 million for members,” said Mr Nyambu. He said that the government only paid Sh29 million for salary arrears while Sh19 million remained unpaid. The official also revealed that the government owes casual workers more than Sh5 million in wages. Nyambu also disclosed that the county administration had not remitted statutory deductions to the National Hospital Insurance Fund and the National Social Security Fund, as well as insurance premiums as earlier agreed. “We had agreed with the employer to pay the accumulated statutory deductions in full and not in piecemeal as is been done now,” he stated. Nyambu claimed that casual workers had not been paid for the last 16 months and when they demanded their pay, they were intimidated and threatened with the sack. “Scores of workers have been re-designated or promoted but they are yet to receive their arrears for the upgrade since 2014. The memorandum of understanding we signed with the county administration has not been implemented and that is why we have gone back on strike, which started on Sunday night,” the official said. At the Voi County Referral Hospital, the striking workers kicked out patients admitted in the facility. “We are now back on strike until the government honours the MoU in full,” Nyambu said. Reached for comment, acting Finance Executive Davis Mwangoma said he was in a meeting where they were working on a deal to end the strike. “We had peacefully agreed on a return-to-work formula with the workers. But now they are playing cat-and-mouse game. We will give a comprehensive report after the end of the meeting,” Dr Mwangoma told The Standard.
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