Casual workers at Maragua Rural hospital down tools

Business & Finance Counties Editor's Pick Murang'a

Casual workers at Maragua Level 3 hospital in Murang’a County have downed their tools protesting meager salary.

The workers for the better part of Wednesday did not attend to their duties almost grounding operations at the busy hospital.

They decried the meager salary of Sh 8,000 monthly saying the amount is negligible considering the work they do on a monthly basis.

The workers complained that they have been receiving the same salary for many years, accusing the county government of failing to consider them for remuneration increments.

Those who spoke to KNA argued that for the past seven years they have been receiving the same pay and there are no signs of increase in near future.

“We want the county government to come out and raise our salary. The amount of work we do here is a lot and deserves more remuneration,” stated one of the workers who sought anonymity.

They claimed that they spent most of the time in the hospital thus, don’t have any free time to do other jobs elsewhere to complement whatever they get, further complaining of discrepancies with their colleagues who work at Murang’a Level 4 hospital.

They further said they have been excluded in benefiting from personal protection equipment (PPEs) given to protect health workers from contracting Covid-19 virus.

“As front soldiers like nurses among other cadres in the hospital, we need to be considered as we also come into contact with patients, cleaning up, among other cores, so we need some protection equipment,” said Sarah Mwangi, another casual worker.

They claimed that some harmful materials used in the hospital usually come from Nairobi but unfortunately they don’t have equipment to safely handle them.

The workers also urged the county government to increase the number of casual employees so as to reduce their workload.

Addressing the workers, the county Health Chief Officer Kanyi Gitau said they follow government policies given to pay casual workers.

“We pay our casuals according to government guidelines so on issues of increasing salaries we are unable to resolve, unless new guidelines are given,” he added.

On PPEs, Gitau said the materials they have received to fight the spread of coronavirus were few and did not even benefit all health workers.

“We are working out to get more PPEs and once we receive them we will share some with our casual workers. The health department will also employ more workers to reduce the workload in this hospital,” noted Gitau.

By Bernard Munyao

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