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Health workers strike is still on

By Saada Hassan and Emmanuel Too | May 7th 2020 at 13:45:10 GMT +0300

Kenya National Union of Nurses Secretary General Seth Panyako (right) with the Union chairman John Bii during a press briefing in Kisumu on November 12 2016. The union issued a 21 days strike if the CBA is not signed by the government. [Collins Oduor, Standard]

Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) and other medical staff unions have rejected the Sh3.3 billion offer to health workers by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission.

Speaking during a press briefing, the unions have termed the offer by SRC as discriminatory.

“It beats any logic at how they have arrived at different figures for different cardres yet none of the union leaders have been involved in negotiations of the allowances, “says Peterson Wachira, chair Kenya Union of Clinical Officers (KUCO).
According to George Gibore, the Secretary General KUCO, the rationale that should be used by the commission on giving allowances should be focused only on medics in the highest risk of contracting coronavirus.
The union now wants SRC to harmonize the risk allowances.

“We reject the circular by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission in totality. The strike on May 18 is still on, “says Gibore.

“SRC has provoked us even more, SRC should repent for their tyranny of mistakes,” adds Mohammed Duba, chairperson Kenya Health Professionals Society (KHPS).

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Kenyan health workers unions during a press briefing rejecting 3.3 billion risk allowance offer by Salaries and Remuneration Commission [Emmanuel Too| Standard]

According to the secretary general KNUN Seth Panyako, the ministry of health is now a ministry for doctors only but the union will not sit back and watch as that happens.

On the contrary, their counterparts, Kenya Medical and Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU) accepted the offer terming it timely.

Speaking exclusively to Standard Digital, KMPDU Acting Secretary General Dr. Chibanzi Mwachonda said the welfare package would alleviate the heavy burden in the shoulders of healthcare workers who have been on the frontline to combat Covid-19.

“KMPDU welcomes the proposal by the SRC. The package will be a key element in lessening the burden of the frontline workers. The union applauds the commission (SRC) for the consideration, “said Dr. Mwachonda
The response seemingly widens the growing rift between KMPDU and other 17 healthcare carders who have accused Doctors of being selfish.

Representatives of five associations had earlier demanded that government addresses the "unlawful" promotion of a single cadre of health workers while sidelining 17 others.

Leaders of National Nurses Association of Kenya, Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN), Kenya Union of Clinical Officers (KUCO), Kenya National Union of Medical Laboratory Officers and the Kenya National Union of Pharmaceutical Technologists yesterday demanded a fair appraisal and promotion system applicable to all health workers.

“We have said for a long time that the Ministry of Health is not taking all like people who are contributing to the healthcare services... Yesterday we got information that Ministry of Health, which is run by 99 per cent doctors, had promoted 200 doctors,” KNUN Secretary General Seth Panyako said at the joint Press conference at Railways Club, Nairobi.

The Unions have also decried the level of risk they are exposed to as they undertake their duties as they help to fight coronavirus.
“The ones constantly with patients on the ground are the ones earning the least and never being promoted. Those up there keep getting hefty appraisal packages. The President gave a health package for health workers. Why haven’t we seen its benefits?” he added.

“We are more than ready to dialogue, and we can do teleconferencing. But we are sounding a warning to CS Mutahi Kagwe, the good work you are doing may go down the drain if we leave the doctors alone in the hospitals," says Panyako.


KNUN SRC strike allowances
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