A Health crisis is looming in Tana River if clinical officers manning the county’s health facilities make good their threat to down their tools from next Monday.
The health workers, who are members of the Kenya Union of Clinical Officers (KUCO), will go on strike from the midnight of Sunday 16, 2019, according to a notice issued by the Union’s General Secretary and Chief Executive Officer, George Gibore.
Among the grievances noted in the strike notice dated June 10, 2019, are failure by the County Government of Tana River to sign a recognition agreement with the union as well as promotion and re-designation of clinical officers.
“The County Government has failed to promote and re-designate clinical officers including specialists in disregard to the existing scheme of service and the Public Service Commission Human Resource Manual,” Gibore said.
The notice was addressed to Governor Dhadho Godhana, County Secretary Joshua Jara and the secretary to the County Public Service Board, Mrs. Eunice Juma.
“The union also notes with concern that the grievances have been pending for the last four years and have raised a lot of anxiety and totally killed the morale among our members,” Gibore said. “The union feels that its members are being treated to a circus and thus taken for granted.”
He directed all branch officials to sensitise and mobilise members to fully participate in the planned strike till all the grievances are addressed by their employer.
“The union reiterates its goodwill to amiably resolve the issues to avoid unnecessary industrial arrest,” he said.
Contacted, Governor Dhadho Godhana said he was aware of the strike notice but noted his administration was addressing the issues raised by the union.
“Negotiations to resolve the issues are at an advanced stage, but if they want to go on strike, led them do so,” he said through his Press Director, Steve Juma, hinting that those who would participate in the strike could be dismissed.
The Health Executive, Mwanajuma Hiribae said her department had made contingency plans to mitigate the effects of the impending strike, adding that she did not foresee any crisis since only five facilities were being manned by clinical officers.
“Only five health facilities – Hola County Referral Hospital, Ngao Sub County Hospital as well as Bura, Garsen and Kipini Health Centres – will be adversely affected, since the rest are manned by nurses,” she said in a phone interview on Wednesday.
By David Masiga/Emmanuel Masha