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Health workers strike enters week three

Health workers in Mombasa have vowed to continue paralyzing health services at Government health facilities pending payment of their salary arrears and statutory remittances.
Franklin Makanga the secretary general clinical officers’ union Mombasa branch said they will continue downing tools if their grievances are not addressed by their employer the county government of Mombasa.
Makanga said for over six months now the employer has not honoured statutory remittances including bank loans, NHIF membership fees which has led to many being blacklisted by the Credit Reference Bureau as unworthy creditors.
The clinicians’ official said the services at public health facilities in Mombasa will remain disrupted amid the looming national strike next week
Peter Maroko the secretary Kenya National Union of Nurses Mombasa echoed his clinician counterpart in calling for a quick resolution of their plight for people to enjoy uninterrupted service delivery at public health facilities.
Maroko said earlier last month they had agreed on a return to work formula which they declined owing to the fact that the employer had not fulfilled their demands thus the downing of tools.
The union called on the county government of Mombasa led by Governor Hassan Joho to resolve the matter and let people get their much deserved health services.
“We call upon the county officials to talk to NHIF, Banks and the CRB so their members are not disadvantaged when acquiring services,” said Maroko.
The nursing union official reiterated they will not resume work until they are paid first vowing to join the next week’s national strike to demand for their rights.
Maroko noted that the health personnel fraternity demand PPEs to prevent them from contracting the Covid-19 disease which has claimed two nurses in Mombasa and adversely affecting health workers in general.
The workers equally want the Covid-19 allowance as was implemented in the first three months of the pandemic saying the disease is here to stay and they are suffering with no one listening to them.
He urged the Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho not to remain silent on the issue since the workers won’t go back to work if their issues are not addressed.
“The strike will be escalated to next week since the Governor has remained silent. We ask him to put more effort with his officers and pay the last three months statutory deductions.
He called on the SRC to review the risk allowances saying Sh3,850 per month is too little compared to the risks terming the pay as unreasonable.
The official wondered how the country has Sh14 billion for politics and claim there is no money for health workers calling on the government to borrow to ensure health is affordable to all.
He expressed dismay over the fulfillment of the Universal Health Care saying it is unrealizable if little issues like staff salaries take years to be addressed.
The nurses’ official said their cries fell on deaf ears and commended the senate committee on health to look into the issues around employment, salaries, deployment of health workers.
Ben Kata official Kenya Health Workers Society said the strike entered its 3rd week of downing tools and paralyzing services which will remain at stand still due to salary delays, unresolved promotions of members where only a few have been promoted as the others stuck with the employer.
Kata said it painful having all this situation around health workers at an unfortunate time of the corona pandemic.

 By Joseph Kamolo


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