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Health workers lock horns with Governor Nyong’o

Health & Science - By Harold Odhiambo and Mactilda Mbenywe | July 8th 2020 at 12:00:00 GMT +0300

Kisumu County medics during the announcement of the strike which started on June 9, 2020, over delayed salary payment. [Collins Oduor, Standard]

A fresh row is brewing between health workers in Kisumu and the county government after Governor Anyang' Nyong’o’s administration allegedly struck 521 workers off its payroll.

The Standard has established that the affected employees did not receive their June pay with officials in Nyong’o’s administration giving conflicting information.

The affected employees include those who participated in last month’s strike that paralysed healthcare provision in public health facilities in Kisumu.

The development has, however, opened a new war front between the medics and their employer, with union leaders threatening to challenge the matter in court.

Maurice Opetu, deputy secretary-general of the Kenya National Union of Nurses, described the development as unfortunate.

“About 521 health workers are missing their payslips. Someone is trying to remove our names from the payroll and this is not right,” Opetu said.

Kenya National Union of Medical Laboratory Officers representative Hillary Owili also confirmed that some of their members did not receive their pay slips for June. “We know that they have missed their payslips. Either you have stopped salaries or struck them off the payroll,” Owili said.

In a letter written by Chief Officer of Health Joseph Okweso addressed to the county secretary, the official has listed the names of all the 521 health workers who had allegedly failed to report to work. Hsaid that those who did not get their payslips had their salaries withheld for failing to report to work in June.

He confirmed that 70-odd doctors were affected because they did not issue a strike notice.

Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union branch chairman Kevin Osuri confirmed that his members did not receive salaries.

Governor Nyong’o had ordered all striking healthcare workers to report back to work on June 12 failure to which they would be presumed to have absconded duty.

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