The Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) staff have given the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) a three-day ultimatum to harmonise their salaries status or face industrial action.
While participating on a Friday picketing, the staff swore to down their tools on Monday lest their demands which are eight years overdue, are met.
“We are telling Kenyans if SRC will dilly-dally and not give us our concurrence letter today, be assured that from Monday 28, Kenyatta National Hospital remains closed until further notice,” they said.
They told patients at the facility to seek treatment from SRC beginning if the Commission would have failed by September 28 to resolve their grievances.
“We are telling all patients who were supposed to have been served in KNH go to SRC offices and seek treatment,” said one of the workers at KNH.
Even though the agreement was reached back in 2012, harmonising of the new agreement was only done on the top management.
According to the agreement, every worker was put in a job group that was subject to growth and allowances. It is this law that the staff want to be implemented.
With at least 1800 beds and over 6000 staff, KNH is a backbone in the health sector especially for most Kenyans who cannot afford health services from private hospital.
Even though Parliament approved the KNH budget and Treasury released the money, the 2012 agreement is yet to be implemented forcing the health workers to demand their right in an inopportune time. The move presents a difficult situation for patients and the continued fight with covid-19.
The strike scheduled for Monday pokes another hole in the health crisis that has seen many health workers in different counties such as Kitui and Narok went on strike previously over delayed salaries, perennial non-promotion and no health cover.