Health workers in Garissa have issued a 14-day strike notice citing delayed salary, poor working conditions amongst other grievances.
In a letter addressed to the country secretary, chief officer public health and the county public service board CEO dated September 25 and signed by various union leaders in the county, the medics vowed to paralyze operations at the biggest referral hospital and other various health facilities in the sub-counties if the devolved unit will not intervene.
Dr. Hassan Abdi, the acting chairman Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) said healthcare workers operated under an extremely harsh environment that has been worsened by delayed two months’ salaries.
County employees have not been paid for the past two months. The scenario has been blamed on delayed release of funds by the National Treasury. The healthcare workers have described the payment delay as chronic.
This is not the first time medics in Garissa have threatened to down their tools over delayed salaries. In March this year, the officials boycotted work after the county delayed their salaries for two months.
Other issues contained in the letter seen by KNA include overdue promotions, delayed remittance of statutory deductions, non-payments of leave and nurses uniform allowances. They also want the county to absorb locum health care workers.
“The latest engagement through a meeting at your premises was on 9th September 2020. At the meeting no specific solutions were provided and our members have run out of patience arising from the disputed issues,” the letter also copied to the governor, CEC heath, CEC finance and Chief Officer Finance read in part.
The health care workers said they have no options left apart from industrial action.
“Further note that if no solutions would have been found, our members will proceed on strike from midnight on 12th October,” added the letter.
By Jacob Songok