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Machakos County puts striking health workers on notice

Machakos County Ministry of Health has issued a stern warning to striking health workers urging them to immediately resume work to avoid further disruption of delivery of healthcare services.

Addressing the press at the Machakos Level 5 Referral hospital, Machakos County Executive Committee Member (CECM) for Health Dr. Daniel Yumbya asked the workers to respect the law and be professional by executing their duties.

“Since Wednesday, we have experienced a go slow in Machakos level 4 and level 5 hospitals because we have had a challenge in paying October salaries. It is your right to go on strike. Procedurally, you can give us 21 or 14 day notice with grievances raised. It is your freedom but don’t take it upon yourself and go on an illegal strike,” said Yumbya.

Yumbya stated that his office had held a consultative meeting with the health union officials and given certain parameters that each party was going to meet where they agreed to get a list of officers as well as verifications from the facilities

“One of the main issues is extraneous allowances being paid to officers working in stations where the amount is not equivalent to what is allowed in that place. For example, we have a suspect getting an extraneous allowance in Masinga which is a hardship area but that person is in Machakos town,” said Yumbya.

He condemned the health workers for forcefully discharging patients in critical conditions from the hospital and promised to handle the matter in the right manner noting that the health workers would not be paid for the days they have not worked.

The CECM further noted that health is an essential service and added that health workers are bound by the code of professional conduct and therefore ought to be governed by the law.

Machakos County Secretary and Head of Public Service Victor Ndambuki stated that the delay in salaries has been occasioned by irregular payroll entries adding that he had earlier issued a memo to all the county staff members notifying them of delayed payment of their October salaries.

“The governor has severally pronounced irregular payroll entries in payments. With that and other human resource malpractices, she appointed a human resource taskforce which was mandated to look into human resource issues across the board and advice on the way forward,” said Ndambuki.

Ndambuki further noted that after interrogating the payroll, the taskforce pointed out several anomalies and the county government collectively agreed that it ought to be scrutinized adding that regardless of the complications, the salaries have been processed for the sake of the genuine workers.

By Rachael Kilonzo and Caroline Mutheu

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