• Secretaries of various unions accused Homa Bay government of ignoring them
• Health chief officer blamed pay delays on delayed disbursement of funds by Treasury
Medics in Homa Bay have called on the county government to comply with the agreement they signed ahead of the 2022 General Election.
Governor Gladys Wanga and Deputy Governor Oyugi Magwanga had met health workers through their unions’ leadership and agreed on ways to address issues the medics have been facing over the past years.
The parties agreed on timely salaries payment, promotion of health workers and timely remittance of statutory deductions.
Adequate supply of pharmaceuticals to hospitals was also part of the deal.
On Tuesday, the health workers said some issues are yet to be addressed one year after Governor Wanga was sworn to office.
Wanga was the woman representative and ODM party candidate for governor seat, while Magwanga was her running mate.
Secretaries of various unions accused the Homa Bay government of ignoring them after election.
They are Kenya National Union of Medical Laboratory Officers secretary Joseph Opondo, Kenya National Union of Nurses' Emadick Otieno and Kenya National Union of Clinical Officers' Felix Ouko.
He told their members to prepare for industrial action should the county government fail to address the issues in two weeks.
“The Homa Bay Health department has been given a two-week strike notice to address the grievances,” Opondo said.
"We’re dismissing the notion that the current administration has no issues with health workers."
In the agreement, the medics signed a health chatter that salaries should be paid by the 5th of every month.
The medics, however, said they have witnessed delayed salary payments for more than six months.
Speaking to journalists in Homa Bay town, the unionists said they have not been receiving communication from the county government officials in charge of health.
“Delayed payment of salaries is experienced by health workers, but no communication from the health department. They cause a lot of inconveniences to medics,” he said.
The county government is also accused of failing to remit some statutory deductions.
Some health workers’ salaries are deducted but were not remitted to their unions.
Ouko accused the county government of failing to promote employees who have stayed in the same job group for long.
The unionist also asked for the provision of comprehensive health insurance cover.
“It is unfortunate that we manage disease, but some of us cannot be treated when they are sick,” Ouko said.
“Most of us spend their money to go to hospital, when the bills should be paid by an insurance company.”
Otieno said attempts to seek an audience with the county government to address the problems have not been successful.
The workers want to know why some of them had their salaries withheld during a staff audit.
“The information we get is that their files are missing, yet some produced copies of documents which they used to be employed," Otieno said.
"The work of Human Resource (HR) is being paid to keep files of all workers."
However, Homa Bay Health chief officer Kevine Osuri said the problem of delayed salary payments is due to delayed disbursement of funds from the national government.
“Remittance of funds from National Treasury is a problem to many counties,” Osuri said.
“But we have been sourcing for funds using other means to pay workers.”
Osuri said they are still looking at a staff audit report that recently unearthed a number of workers who are erroneously earning salaries. They were earning salaries without giving services to the people.
The county government will handle issues of promotion after full implementation of the audit report.
“The county government plans to meet medics to iron out issues affecting them,” Osuri said.