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STRIKE THREATS

Late salary release by state hurts health, other workers

Medics battling Covid-19 also demoralised by delays for two months.

In Summary

• Most counties have been experiencing monthly salary delays and the county bosses fear the delays will demoralise health workers and other employees.

• Unions representing county health workers have issued strike notices in Trans Nzoia and Nandi, among other counties. They threaten to walk off the job by July 5 if May and June payments not released.

 

Trans Nzoia Governor Patrick Khaemba at a meeting in Eldoret on February 3.
WHERE'S THE MONEY? Trans Nzoia Governor Patrick Khaemba at a meeting in Eldoret on February 3.
Image: MATHEWS NDANYI

North Rift governors have expressed alarm over late salary release from the Treasury.

The delays for county workers include health employees on the frontline in the war against Covid-19.

Most of the counties have been experiencing continued monthly salary delays and the county bosses say workers are getting demoralised.

Unions have issued strike notices in Trans Nzoia, Nandi and other counties. They threaten to walk off the job by July 5 if May and June payments are not released.

“We are really appealing to Treasury that it’s not proper to continue delaying salaries and causing suffering every month. We wonder why the persistent delays yet payment can be planned for well in advance,” Governor Patrick Khaemba of Trans Nzoia said.

He said most workers were putting in great effort to serve Kenyans, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, and it wasn’t fair to make them suffer.

Khaemba some health workers were putting their own lives on the line by helping Covid-19 patients.

Nandi Governor Stephen Sang said his workers were also suffering.

“Workers end up blaming counties for failing them, yet this problem is caused by the Treasury and not the counties,” Sang said.

The county was in talks with the Treasury over frequent delays, he said.

Khaemba and Sang separately spoke to the Star on Tuesday and urged Treasury CS Ukur Yatani to quickly sort out the salary problem.

National doctor’s union (KMPDU) chairman Oroko Obegi said Nandi, Trans Nzoia and other counties had until July 5 to pay the delayed salaries or face a strike.

“Over the last three month doctors and other health workers have done tremendous work to serve Kenyans affected by Covid-19 and other challenges. Delaying their salaries at such a time is inhumane,” Obegi said.

(Edited by V. Graham)