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Homabay healthcare workers issue seven days’ notice to employer

Health care workers in Homa Bay have threatened to down their tools if the County Government fails to solve issues that affect them.

They have decried the fact that despite tabling their grievances to their employer, nothing has been done and have therefore given a 7-day ultimatum before they go on strike.

Grievances which they demanded to be resolved include salary delays, non-confirmation of employment, withdrawal of some members from the payroll without notice and stagnation among other pertinent issues.

The healthcare workers and union officials are drawn from different cadres within the county health department including the Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN), Kenya Union of Clinical Officers (KUCO), Kenya Union of Nutritionists and Dieticians (KUND), Kenya National Union for Medical Laboratory Officers (KNULO), Union of Health Records and Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) representing doctors.

Speaking on Saturday, the unionists said that some health care workers were withdrawn from the payroll last year August without prior notice and have not been reinstated back into the system.

Led by KNUN branch Secretary Emerdick Otieno, they also pointed out that some of them have stagnated in one job group for almost 10 years.

“The county government deemed it fit to remove them from the payroll and notify them one month after. In fact, the notice stopping their salaries came in August which is against labor laws,” he said and demanded for their immediate reinstatement.

The KNUN Secretary added that the county should further clear the arrears for the months the employees went without their salaries.

He also lamented stagnation in one job group which he claimed is demoralizing them in dispensing their duties.

Otieno urged the County Government to promote healthcare workers who have stagnated in one job group for over three years, in accordance with Human Resource guidelines.

“We want to tell the county government that promotion is a motivational factor and hence we want our members to be promoted as they deserve,” said Otieno.

On the other hand, KMPDU County Liaison Officer Dr Ochieng Otana expressed the union’s dissatisfaction with the way Human Resource issues are handled within the health department citing chronic salary delays.

“Some members were employed by the county for some time now but have not been confirmed yet. They have not been issued with letters of confirmation which means there are some benefits that they are missing out on,” he said.

Otana said the issues raised affect not only their morale but service delivery and called for a satisfactory resolution soonest.

The issues we have raised require urgent intervention by the county government. If we do not get a satisfactory resolution then we are going to call on our members to down their tools until such a time when our demands are met,” he said.

 By Sitna Omar

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