ULTIMATUM

Kisumu health workers issue 7-day strike notice

Over allowances, promotions and unresolved issues.

In Summary
  • Cite failure by the administration to pay Covid-19 allowances and the unresolved chronic delay of salaries. 
  • They say the county has failed to issue letters of promotion, redesignation and confirmation.
Kisumu health workers strike last year.
Kisumu health workers strike last year.
Image: FAITH MATETE

Kisumu health workers have issued a seven-day strike notice over allowances, promotions and unresolved issues.

In a letter dated June 2, and addressed to the county secretary, the workers cite failure by the administration to pay Covid-19 allowances and the unresolved chronic delay of salaries. 

They say the county has failed to issue letters of promotion, redesignation and confirmation.

 

The Labour and Employment Court in Bungoma on January 30 ordered the promotion of healthcare workers. The county, in a letter dated April 30, requested the implementation be moved from April to May.

“All healthcare workers are advised to stay away from their workstations and keep safe at home on the expiry of this notice on June 9,” reads the notice signed by unions' representatives.

They include Kenya National Union of Nurses secretary Maurice Opetu, Kenya Union of Clinical Officers secretary Craus Okumu, Kenya National Union of Medical Laboratory Officers secretary Hilary Awili, Union of Kenya Civil Servants secretary Peter Oluoch and National Union of Pharmaceutical Technologists' chairman Hannington Onyango.

 

The letter has been copied to the Health executive, Health chief officer, Public Service Board secretary, county assembly clerk and all the general secretaries of the unions.

The last time the workers went on strike, the healthcare system shut down, hospitals were deserted with no one to take care of patients. The strike lasted more than two months.

The strike notice comes amid rising Covid-19 cases. The county recorded its fifth case last week.

 

The Health department has faced numerous challenges and had been without a substantive head for many months.

Governor Anyang' Nyong'o recently appointed Boaz Nyunya to head the department. Nyunya's nomination was approved by the county assembly last week.

Local leaders and residents have been agitating for the governor's impeachment or resignation over of the sector's numerous challenges.

A recent report by an ad hoc assembly committee paints a grim picture of the county’s health status.

The issues include inadequate human resource, debt, accountability and lack of water, among others.

Edited by Josephine M. Mayuya

Health workers march in Kisumu.
Health workers march in Kisumu.
Image: FAITH MATETE