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Health unions issue seven day strike notice


Healthcare workers hijack a police land cruiser during their strike on March 22, 2024. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Three health lobby groups have issued a strike notice in the next seven days should the government fail to meet their demands.

They are the Kenya Environmental Health and Public Health Practitioners Union (KEHPHPU), Kenya National Union of Pharmaceutical Technologists (KNUPT) and Kenya Union of Nutritionists and Dieticians (KUNAD).

“We, the trade unions representing Public Health officers, Specialists and Technicians, Pharmaceutical Technologist, and Nutritionists/Dieticians who form an integral part of the Healthcare Workforce convey our disappointment in the manner in which the Ministry of Health and County Governments have handled our grievances,” they say in a statement.

They want to be recognized by the Ministry of Health and County Governments as per section 54 of the Labour Relations Act, 2007.

“It is sad to note that upon the registration of the three listed unions and having met the requisite requirements for official recognition, the Ministry of Health has failed to recognize the above trade unions in contravention of the Labour Relations Act.”

The lobbyists say that the Susan Nakhumicha-led health ministry has failed to post interns to different facilities across the country.

“There has been a blatant and open discrimination by the Ministry of Health in regards to postings and payment of interns.”

The failure of the ministry has led to the intentional exclusion of Public Health Offices, Pharmaceutical Technologists and Nutritionists interns who are required to undergo a mandatory one-year internship before they are licensed.

They also decry the failure by both the national and county governments to absorb on permanent and pensionable terms Universal Health Coverage and Covid-19 workers who have been on contract for over four years.

“Discrimination at work place entails having two employees of the same qualification, same work environment with similar duties but one having superior terms under permanent and pensionable engagements while the other is under inferior contractual terms.”

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