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Homabay health workers threaten strike over unpaid wages and job uncertainty

Homabay health workers threaten strike over unpaid wages and job uncertainty

KENYA—Health care workers in Homa Bay have threatened to walk off the job if the county government does not address concerns that affect them.

The workers have expressed dissatisfaction with the fact that, despite submitting their objections to their employer, nothing has been done and have issued a 7-day ultimatum before going on strike.

Salary delays, non-confirmation of employment, withdrawal of some members from the payroll without notice, and stagnation are among the concerns they want handled.

The healthcare workers and union officials came from the county health department’s various cadres, including the Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN), Kenya Union of Clinical Officers (KUCO), Kenya Union of Nutritionists and Dieticians (KUND), and Kenya National Union of Medical Laboratory Officers (KNULO).

Other organizations that represent doctors include the Union of Health Records and the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists, and Dentists Union (KMPDU)

According to the unionists, several health care workers were removed from the payroll without warning last August and have yet to be reinstated.

KNUN branch secretary Emerdick Otieno highlighted that some of them have been stuck in one work group for nearly ten years.

Emerdick stated that the county administration thought it appropriate to remove them from the payroll and tell them one month later with the notice sent to cease their wages coming in August, which is in violation of labour regulations requiring their immediate reinstatement.

The KNUN Secretary further stated that the county should clear the arrears for the months the employees were not paid.

He also bemoaned stagnation in one employment group, which he felt was depressing people from carrying out their responsibilities.

“We want to tell the county government that promotion is a motivational factor, and hence we want our members to be promoted as they deserve,” Otieno said in a statement.

KMPDU County Liaison Officer Dr. Ochieng Otana, on the other hand, underlined the union’s dissatisfaction with how human resources matters are handled inside the health department, noting recurring salary delays.

According to him, some members have been hired by the county for some time but have not yet been confirmed, which means they have not received letters of confirmation, implying they are missing out on some benefits.

Otana stated that the issues presented affect not only their morale but also service delivery and urged a proper settlement as soon as possible.

He concluded that the issues listed necessitate prompt action by the county administration and stated that if a proper settlement is not reached, the union will call on its members to stop working until their demands are realized.

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