- The medics started their strike on Friday after their employer failed to respond to a seven-day notice.
- The officials asked their members not to report to work until their plight is addressed. They asked patients to avoid public hospitals in Homa Bay.
Homa Bay health workers have downed their tools over failure by the government to pay their January salaries on time.
The medics started their strike on Friday after their employer failed to respond to a seven-day notice.
Officials from Kenya National Union of Nurses, Kenya Union of Clinical Officers and Kenya National Union of Dieticians and Nutritionists asked their members not to report to work until their plight is addressed.
They are demanding January salaries which they said have affected their loan repayment, remittance of statutory deductions like NHIF, NSSF and payment of union dues.
Homa Bay KNUN executive secretary Omondi Nyonje, KUCO chairman Steve Obunga and KNUDN chairman Hillary Oracha accused the county government of breaching their agreement.
The officials who spoke to journalists in Homa Bay town on Thursday said they had agreed that salaries should be paid by 8th of every month.
Nyonje said members of his union will not offer services until the money is paid, urging patients to avoid public hospitals in Homa Bay.
“You can’t perform any duty when you’re hungry. Homa Bay government has gone against its promise of paying us promptly hence the need to down tools,” he said.
Nyonje said nurses are also asking for full payment of June 2021 salaries.
During this period, the county government made an error which resulted in some workers being paid less, while others were paid in excess.
The finance department asked workers who were paid more to refund the money so that those who got less can be paid in the subsequent months.
Nyonje said some of the affected nurses have not received their full June 2021 salaries.
“We shall go to court if the employer does not want to address this issue willingly as promised,” he said
Obunga said health workers will down their tools whenever there is salary delay.
He said they have signed a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with the employer more than three times but the latter has refused to comply.
“Delayed salaries remittance is a problem in Homa Bay. The county government has failed to turn a new leaf despite several promises,” Obunga said.
Besides salaries, health workers are also asking for a better working environment.
Oracha said most members of his union do not have personal protective equipment (PPEs).
They urged Governor Cyprian Awiti to look into the plight of the health workers by paying them promptly.
However, Health executive Richard Muga said the county government is looking at the issues raised by the medics.
“We’re talking with the medics and sorting out the salary delay issues,” he said.
(Edited by Bilha Makokha)