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Clinical officers threaten to go on strike

Health & Science
 Kenya Union of Clinical Officers (KUCO) Chair Peterson Wachira (center) flanked by other health officials. [File, Standard]
The Kenya Union of Clinical Officers (KUCO) wants the Ministry of Health and county governments to expedite promotions for all qualified clinical officers and revise the primary care network committee to include clinical officers within 21 days, failure to which they will go into what they term as “mother of all strikes”.

Speaking during a press briefing on Wednesday, KUCO chair Peterson Wachira said some clinical officers had stagnated in one job group for more than two decades, noting that the government was hindering upward mobility of public workers.

“Some officers have stagnated in one job group for more than 20 years, with some retiring having only moved one job group since employment,” said Wachira.

The union is now demanding the government to expedite the promotions within the next 21 days with intentions of finalising within the next 90 days.

Failure to which, the clinical officers have threatened to go on a strike.

"In 21 days, we will cause the disruption they're inviting us to join because by not following the law, they're already causing a disruption,” said Wachira

Wachira further condemned the exclusion of clinical officers from primary care network committees (PCNs), and demanded MOH recalls and revises the circular advising the county governments on the composition of the committees with a view to including clinical officers within the stipulated timeline.

“It is ironic that though clinical officers provide most of the preventive and curative care in primary healthcare, they have been excluded from the PCNs,” said Wachira. “This move by MOH undermines the purpose of the primary health care act.”

The union also demanded a timely conclusion of Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs). CBAs allow workers to negotiate the employment terms between them and their employer. 

“The failure to conclude the CBA has resulted in significant lapses in addressing various issues, exposing our members to occupational health hazards and mental health challenges,” said George Gibore, the General secretary, KUCO.

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