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November 15, 2018

Strike at your own peril, Siaya health workers told

Siaya governor Cornel Rasanga addressing residents in Siaya on Surtaday
Siaya governor Cornel Rasanga addressing residents in Siaya on Surtaday

Governor Cornel Rasanga has told Siaya health workers to go on strike at their own risk.

He said he paid the health workers from public coffers the last time they were on strike for five months and he is not going to entertain them this time.

Rasanga said he will not be paying health workers for doing nothing at the expense of development.

“The last time you went on strike for five months I paid you without working and that is a debt that you will pay one day,” he said.

Rasanga told health workers that before they go for another strike they should think twice as it will not be business as usual. “I know you don’t enjoy going on strike but how comes it’s only Siaya that goes on strike when the salary delays for a few days?” he said.

On Friday last week, Siaya health workers threatened to go on strike this week if their two months salaries would not have been paid. The workers claimed the county government had not paid them for two consecutive months and they have families to care for and bills to foot.

But the governor said the health workers are supposed to be engaging the county instead of going on strike without notice. “I have also not received my salary on time and that is why I’m encouraging that we engage before any strike because of delayed payments,” he said.

Rasanga said he has a duty to serve the public and he will not entertain avoidable obstacles like strikes to derail his legacy.

He reminded workers that strike is supposed to be the last option in a civilised country.

The governor said his office cannot be wholly blamed for delayed salaries, adding that many people are involved. “The delay of salaries can be because of my staff, it can be because of the national government staff and it can also be because of treasury,” Rasanga said.

In February, Siaya nurses went on strike because of Sh420 million unpaid salaries. The nurses said their pay is frequently delayed.

Nurses’ union secretary Sylvester Ng’ada expressed regret that their talks with the county government had failed. He accused the Rasanga’s administration of “making empty promises”.

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