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Nurses demand pay, paralyzing health services

Laikipia County nurses have downed their tools demanding for their delayed pay, a move that has paralyzed services in the hospitals.

The nurses who congregated at Laikipia West Sub County offices in Nyahururu Monday, urged the County’s administration to pay promptly for them to resume work.

“It is unfortunate that our June salaries have delayed and we are forced to walk to work and go without food,” noted Purity Matu, chair of the Kenya National Union of Nurses, Laikipia Branch.

She decried penalties being imposed on their loans that were deducted at source but not remitted as a result of the delays, adding that no meaningful services will be delivered by a distressed workforce.

“Statutory deductions like those to the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) were not forwarded and our families cannot access medical care as a result,” said Matu.

The May salary was also delayed to June 15, with the county citing system errors. The county doctors too, have for almost a month now, downed their tools demanding honouring of the Collective Bargain Agreement (CBA) of 2017.

“I love my patients but I can’t work on an empty stomach, my own employees need to be paid and my farm attended to but I can’t afford,” cried Eunice Nyaguthii, agitated from the heavy workload that had previously caused her a stroke.

Nurses on contract, were in dilemma too, on whether to continue serving as their contracts had expired in December, 2018.

“We are forced to work as equally hard as our salaried counterparts with meagre pay that cannot sustain us. The county administration has not made it clear whether we are their employees, neither do we have any appointment letters to show our presence in these hospitals,” added Lucy Ithenya.

The few patients turning up at Nyahururu County referral hospital found empty service desks as the workers shunned their places of work, while others donned casual wear to avert being assigned duties.

“We will continue holding parades as we need our salaries paid on time as promised,” cried George Koro, the Kenya County Workers Union, Laikipia Branch Secretary.

While noting that the delays had disorganized their lives, Kenya County Workers Union Treasurer James Gitonga, demanded that the payments should be made every 30th of the month to allow the workers ample time to do their work.

The county administration through a communique last month notified the workers that their “May and June salaries will be paid by 15th of June and July I5th respectively,” while urging them to be patient.

By Anne Sabuni



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