200 Busia health workers promoted after strike

Health workers and the county agree to sign a return-to-work formula effective July 1

In Summary
  • Promotion of 291 workers was among issues the striking health workers wanted addressed by the county.
  • 79 others who were working on contract will be employed permanently.
Busia Deputy Governor and acting Health CEC Moses Mulomi addresses the press after an agreement that the strike be called off
DEAL DONE: Busia Deputy Governor and acting Health CEC Moses Mulomi addresses the press after an agreement that the strike be called off

More than 200 health workers in Busia have been promoted in a new deal that also saw the workers call off their strike.

Promotion of 291 workers was among demands the health practitioners had wanted the county government to meet before calling off the strike which began on Monday.

Busia Kenya National Union of Nurses secretary general Isaiah Omondi told the Star on Wednesday the 291 employees were those working under the county government. Those working under the national government will not benefit from the deal.

“We have called off the strike and our members are resuming duty today (Wednesday),” Omondi said on phone.

He, however, said some of their demands were not fulfilled by the county after the seven-hour meeting where it was resolved the health workers resume duty.

Among issues he said remained pending is the payment of the Covid-19 allowances.

Representatives of the medics, Omondi said, would meet again with acting Health  executive who is also the Deputy Governor Moses Mulomi in two weeks to discuss how to improve the general working conditions of the workers.

The Tuesday meeting was chaired by Mulomi.

Omondi said it was also agreed that 79 health workers who have been working on contract be employed permanently.

Others who attended the meeting were County Public Service Board chairperson Assumpta Obore and chief officers Isaac Omeri (Medical Services) and Jonathan Okwakau (Public Health).

The two parties agreed to sign a return to work agreement effective Wednesday, July 1, 2020.

Kenya Union of Clinical Officers was represented by Philemone Nakoche.

“We have agreed to suspend the strike on condition that our members get their promotion letters,” Nakoche said.

The letters were issued after the meeting, Omondi said.

Nakoche asked the county government through the Public Service Management to constitute a task force that would look into errors of promotion and examine other issues affecting health workers, among them allowances and transfers.

“A task force should be formed to look into the errors of promotion and the whole process including budgeting and other factors affecting healthcare workers,” Nakoche said.

Mulomi said resumption of duty by the striking workers would enable the provision of services to residents seeking treatment in various health facilities.

“Over 290 healthcare workers have been promoted and are supposed to receive their promotion letters. Ninety eight others have been subjected to suitability evaluation,” Mulomi said.

He assured health workers that the county government was committed towards protecting front line employees working in recovery centres against coronavirus. He said the Health department would provide personal protective equipment.

Edited by Henry Makori

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