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Medics threaten to down tools over unconcluded CBA

 Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) Secretary General Seth Panyako in the company of other Labour Health Workers Union Officials addressing the press on May, 14, 2023. [Samson Wire. Standard]

Medics have issued a strike notice beginning July 14, 2023, should the government fail to honour their demands.

In a joint statement by various unions, the medics say the government has been reluctant to employ more health care workers and honour the July 2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

“On May 15, 2023, we issued a 60-day strike notice to the Ministry of Health and County Governments regarding unconcluded CBAs and Recognition Agreements,” said the unions.

“As of today, 46 days later, we haven’t seen any efforts towards finalisation of these collective bargaining agreements. We also note that this unresponsiveness has been the norm and a great saboteur to harmonious working relationships between Unions, Health Ministry and counties.”

The unions say the government has failed to prioritise health by reducing the yearly budget allocated to them.

“Increase in taxation should be accompanied by better service delivery. Something that we expected to see in the 2023/2024 budget. This puts into prioritisation of health and the commitment by the current administration to fully implement Universal Health Care (UHC).”

The unions demand the government employ 20,000 health workers immediately and embark on annual employment.

They also want Nakuru County to absorb all health workers who have been working under the county-based contracts.

Additionally, they are also demanding the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) to conduct public participation to agree with Kenyans on how the enhancement of contributions will assure Kenyans of quality services.

“Many Kenyans have challenges using NHIF cards to access health service against a background of corruption scandals bedeviling the institution. NHIF must explain to Kenyans how the enhancement of contributions will enable them to access quality services without suffering catastrophic financial harm.”

The unions include the Kenya Union of Clinical Unions, the Kenya National Union of Nurses, the Kenya National Union of Medical Laboratory Oficers and others. 

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