Nurses and doctors’ unions in Elgeyo Marakwet will from tomorrow (Monday) go on strike to protest the move by the county administration to scrap allowances for health workers on study leave.
Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) and Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU) said the Department of Health scrapped the allowance for 18 health workers without consultations.
Benson Biwott, the KNUN county secretary, said union members will paralyse operations in all county hospitals if the allowances is not paid before Monday next week.
Biwott said the scrapping of the hardship allowances affected nurses, doctors, clinical officers, public health officers and medical laboratory technologists who were given permission to pursue further studies.
“We have given the county government seven days, which laspses on Monday, to pay the deducted allowance failure to which we shall engage in what the government knows best – an industrial action,” Biwott stated. He added: “We shall not sit back and watch our members being discriminated against by the county government.”
Public health workers Secretary general Martin Lokalis said the move will discourage health workers from pursuing further studies. “It is unfair to deny people who are on further studies their allowance. It is demeaning and frustrating,” he said. However, Health Executive Kiprono Chepko said the workers on study leave do not deserve hardship allowance because they are studying in counties that are not gazetted as hardship areas.
Chepkok said it was improper for the county government to pay the allowance to workers who are not operating within the county.