Uasin Gishu County government has threatened to sack all health workers currently on strike if they fail to resume work immediately.
Governor Jackson Mandago put the striking health workers on notice that their salaries will be withheld if they fail to heed the directive maintaining the health workers were participating in an illegal strike.
Mr. Mandago warned that the medics will be locked out of their work stations and replaced with other medics on contract basis if they continue defying the county government directive.
The county boss notified the health workers who will continue with strike not to expect their January salaries saying the courts had declared the strike illegal.
The governor’s warning comes as an emphasis to a statement earlier issued by his Health CEC Dr. Evelyn Rotich that the county will stop salaries for the striking health staff and if they continue not providing services to the public, sterner measures including advertising for the positions.
Mandago said the council of governors, (COG) cannot agree to the medics return to work formula since they were not party to the signing of the deal.
“As county governments, we are not in agreement with what the Ministry of Health did and agreed with the doctors because COG was not part of the meeting where the agreement was reached,” said Mandago.
He accused the medics of using the Covid-19 situation to push selfish demands saying the health workers were not clear on what they were striking for.
“They at first claimed they wanted personal preventive equipment, PPE’s but when we strived to ensure the PPE’s were provided, they shifted the goalposts and started to ask for salary arrears and increment as well as promotion. They should come out clearly, if it is about covid-19, let us address the matters covid-19, but they should not use the pandemic as blackmail’ to fulfill their quest for more salaries,” he stated.
The County boss also asked the health workers to be realistic saying the county cannot keep increasing salaries for health workers while workers in other departments earn very little.
“We shall be setting a dangerous precedence in the public service if we continue to entertain this kind of disparities,” said Mandago.
While acknowledging that some staff in the county had stagnated on the same job group for many years, the governor announced that his government in collaboration with the county assembly has set aside Sh.13 million to settle the promotion of workers including the healthcare workers beginning this January.
On 22nd,December 22, 2020 COG directed all county governments to withhold salaries of striking health workers and commence the process of hiring new ones since the medics had violated court orders suspending the strike and further frustrated the process of negotiation, thus leaving county governments with no other option.
by Kiptanui Cherono