Over 200 casual workers deployed in various health facilities in Kirinyaga County have downed their tools citing delayed payments of their salaries.
The casuals claimed they have not been paid salaries for the last four months and were therefore unable to carry on with their duties
Also listed in their grievances, is failure by the county administration to provide them with protective working gear especially with the Corona virus ongoing war
“How can we be able to carry on with our duties without even the face masks as required yet we are at the highest risk of infection?” posed one of the workers.
The casuals were hired last year after Kerugoya referral hospital was faced with a filth scandal replacing all the 400 who were dismissed at the time.
The hospital could be headed to crisis in the absence of this cadre of workers. No one from the county government was willing to comment on the matter.
Only a week ago, the Union of Kenya civil servants Kirinyaga county branch raised concern over the issue of nonpayment of salaries to the workers.
The branch secretary Patrick Ndungu said many of the county employees were now going for the third month without pay.
‘The delay is impacting negatively on the workers especially at this tragic moment of the COVID -19 pandemic: Ndungu said this morning
He said the county government should move first and pay the outstanding months salaries to enable the workers go back to their work.
“I really sympathize with the workers, those with loans in various loaning institutions are suffering after failing to meet their obligations and resulting to mental torture.” He said
Ndungu said the delays which has also greatly affected the contribution to the NHIF was also affecting the members and their families who are now being denied treatment by health institutions.
He said Landlords have also been a terror to the employees since they have not been able to pay their house rents as expected.
On the issue of the protective clothing, the official said the county government must make sure the workers are provided with them and are safe.
He said the union has registered their caution that many of the health workers in the health facilities are working without the protective clothing thus endangering their lives and those of their families.
“The county government must do everything possible and provide the required clothing to make sure the workers are safe” Ndungu said
By Irungu Mwangi