Thursday, 21 January 2021 12:54

GOVERNORS ROOT FOR STRUCTURED DIALOGUE ON HEALTH STRIKE

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Governors are asking the Trade Unions representing healthcare workers, to engage respective County Governments to end persistent strikes. Addressing Managing Editors drawn from different media houses, the Governors said most of the grievances raised by the striking healthcare workers were county specific and would be resolved amicably through such an engagement.
Council of Governors, Chairman H.E Hon. Wycliffe Oparanya reiterated the need for negotiation devoid of hard-line positions citing dialogue as an instrumental tool in putting an end to the perennial strikes witnessed in the health sector. H.E Oparanya expressed regret that the health workers had downed their tools when the country is still grappling with the crisis occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This strike is illegal and a violation of the right to life and the right to access to healthcare as provided under Article 26 and 43 of the constitution”, he said, warning of a potential crisis for patients. He said Counties may be forced to hire new health workers if the strike persists.
The Chairman of the Human Resource Committee at the Council, H.E James Ongwae said the increase in allowances demanded by the health workers would require a huge budget allocation. He said Counties are currently constrained financially. He said any increase would require the approval of the salary and remuneration commission SRC and commitment by the National Treasury to provide the resources. He however noted that some of the demands by the striking workers were untenable.
Devolution of the health sector has seen improvement of salaries and allowances for various staff. Registered clinical officers in job Group H who are diploma holders earn a gross pay of Kshs.56, 130, nurses with a certificate earn Kshs. 49,370 at entry level. The figures have risen over the years and most now are at Kshs83,380 and Kshs.71,870 following the 2017 collective bargaining agreement. Doctors have also benefitted from trade union negotiations which has seen their gross pay increased to Kshs234,750 monthly. This excludes allowances. H.E Ongwae said currently health workers are the highest paid in comparison to Teachers, Economists and Engineers.
Health workers are demanding corona virus protective gear, better pay, medical insurance cover. A number of health workers have succumbed to COVID-19 prompting the agitation. The Governors were speaking at a breakfast meeting hosted by the Council of Governors for Managing Editors at a Nairobi Hotel. The Governors acknowledged the media as a key partner in the Devolution matrix, assuring to always share information to enable it disseminated to the public in a timely and factual manner.

Read 419 times Last modified on Friday, 22 January 2021 06:59