Anxiety as Clinical Officers date court to unlock stalemate

By Austin Oduor Otieno | Tuesday, Nov 19th 2019 at 09:05
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As Tuesday approaches, thousands of clinical officers across the country will be looking up to Justice Byram Ongaya of the employment and labor court as he makes a ruling that could solve the labour dispute between the union and the employers.

The Judge on Thursday 14th delivered a ruling instructing both the employer and the union to agree to a return to work formula and report to him on Tuesday. He, however, declined to state whether the strike was legal or not.

The clinical officers who have been on strike for 18 days want their CBA signed and registered in court, the scheme of service ratified, and all the 1870 Diploma interns paid.

Justice Ongaya issued a stern warning to the county governments and the national Government that they ensure the issues raised by the union and its contents in the CBA are amicably solved and table a report of the conciliation and agreed modalities before him on tomorrow.

Health services, including specialized care services, have been crippled and paralysed due to the clinical officers strike with 90% of theaters closed, forcing the governments to opt for private facilities to have operations.

Several patients are being turned away from major hospitals in the country with county governments resorting to intimidation of those on strike.

President Uhuru Kenyatta's fourth pillar of Universal Health Coverage is buckling as those who are the key to its smooth implementation and realization are on strike.

Early last week, the Kenya Union of Clinical officers led by their General Secretary George Gibore petitioned both the Senate and National Assembly over what they termed as mistreatment by both levels of Government.

The Government in the last 2019/20 budget allocated 1.3 Billion shillings for payment of Diploma interns but six months after the interns got posted, they haven't got the payment.

"We are really suffering, and we can't even afford food and shelter which to me are basic, we just need to be paid then we go back to work, can you imagine working for free for a whole year yet you had graduated . Our parents cant take care of us anymore and am appealing to the Government to look art this issue clearly "Mr. Wasonga one of the Heads of Interns said .

The Clinical officers CBA is 80% negotiated before the government side failed to give a counter offer prompting the Minister for Labour Ukur Yatani to form a conciliation team to find a solution.

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