UNPAID SALARIES

Kisumu health workers threaten to strike tomorrow

The Knun termed it as unfortunate that some counties had already paid their health employees while Kisumu is yet to do so.

In Summary

•They called for the industrial action over unremitted loan deductions, persistently delayed salary payments, unremitted statutory deductions and stalled promotions.

•Some of the health workers are still waiting to be paid their delayed July salaries 

Medical workers march along the streets of Kisumu during a previous strike.
Medical workers march along the streets of Kisumu during a previous strike.
Image: FILE

Health services in Kisumu County could be paralysed if the health workers go on strike on Monday. 

The health workers last week gave a seven-day notice to the county government demanding full payment of their July and August salaries.

The Kenya Medical, Pharmacists and Dentists Union, the Kenya National Union of Nurses, and the Kenya Union of Clinical Officers among other unions served the notice. 

They called for the industrial action over unremitted loan deductions, persistently delayed salary payments, unremitted statutory deductions and stalled promotions.

Knun deputy secretary General Maurice Opetu blamed the county government for failing to adhere to the agreement it reached with the health workers including full payment of their July salary and bank loans penalties.

Opetu noted that the workers had called off their salary parade last week to give the county government opportunity to explore modalities of addressing the salary impasse.

He said some of the health workers are still waiting to be paid their delayed July salaries while others had it deducted by the banks to service accrued loans' penalties.

According to Opetu, the county government was to take care of the penalties on loans due to the delayed payments, following their agreement but was not done.

He stated that not all the banks have adhered to the county government's request to pay its workers through overdrafts, adding that some banks were reluctant to pay the workers their salary through an overdraft due to pending dues running into millions owed to them by the county government.

The Knun official termed it as unfortunate that some counties had already paid their health employees while Kisumu county is yet to do so.

 

This comes as Kisumu residents last week told the county government to address health workers’ issues to avoid another strike.

Resident Hilda Okendo told the Star yesterday that should this notice elapse, the people who will suffer are the poor.

 Okendo said that should this notice elapse with no action, the people who will suffer are the poor county residents.

She urged the county government to sit down with the health workers and various stakeholders to find a middle ground and avert this.

Businesswoman Elizabeth Onyango said other counties have paid their health workers and wondered why the Kisumu county government did not follow suit. Onyango wants a lasting solution to be found.