Healthcare workers threaten to down tools over delayed salaries

Union leaders address journalists in Homa Bay town. Healthcare workers have threatened to down their tools. [James Omoro, Standard]

Healthcare workers in Homa Bay County have threatened to down their tools over delayed payment of their salaries.

They are also demanding that 45 health workers, who were reportedly removed from the payroll in an irregular manner, be returned.

Through their unions, Kenya Union of Nurses (KNUN), Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU), Kenya Union of Clinical Officers (KUCO), and Kenya Union of Nutritionists and Dietetics, Kenya National Union of Laboratory Technologists, Kenya Union of Health Records, the medics complained that the delay in paying their salaries has put them in an awkward position.

KNUN Secretary Emerdic Otieno, KMDU Liaison Officer Ocheing Otana, and KUCO Treasurer Felix Ouko sought to pile pressure on the county government to address their grievances.

The unionists said they will call on their members to go on strike within seven days if their grievances are not addressed.

Otana said their delayed salaries had made life difficult for them.

“There is a common trend where our salaries are delayed. Even now, we have not been paid yet we are expected to work. We want our employer to pay us promptly,” Otana said.

Otieno told the county to reinstate 45 of their colleagues who, he said, were removed from payroll erroneously in August last year.

“There are healthcare workers who were removed from the payroll erroneously. We want them reinstated as soon as possible,” Otieno said.

Ouko complained that a number of their colleagues have not been promoted despite serving in the same job groups for long.

“We are giving the county government one week to address these issues failure to which we will go on strike,” Ouko said.

County Chief Officer for Health Kevin Osuri appealed to the health workers to be patient, promising that their concerns would be addressed soon.

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