KENYA:Crisis deepens in health sector as clinical officers begin strike

September 2017 BusinessDaily;  Crisis in the public health sector deepened Friday after clinical officers went on a nationwide strike over delayed salaries, unpaid internship and “unfair” job evaluation by the Salaries and Remunerations Commission (SRC).

The officers had given county governments a 10-day ultimatum last week to pay their outstanding salaries among other grievances or they down their tools.

The strike now pushes Kenyans further into an endless pain, as the ongoing nurses’ strike enters day 103.

On Thursday, the Council of Governors (CoG) had asked the Kenya Union of Clinical Officers (KUCO) not to go on strike before exhausting all avenues for dialogue, including with their employers, the county government.

“We, the clinical officers wish to register our displeasure with the manner in which some county governments are committing labour injustices with impunity and therefore the strike, which we had suspended, resumes,” said KUCO secretary-general George Gibore., while addressing media at NSSF Building in Nairobi.

Mr Gibore said some counties like Siaya, Meru, Nyandarua, Kiambu, among others have not paid clinical officers’ salaries from July to date without any explanation or apology.

faulted the Health ministry for refusing to pay diploma clinical officer interns despite having an internship policy in effect.

Mr Gibore also cited unjustifiable discrepancies in remuneration among different cadres in the sector, where a degree intern in one cadre earns 130 per cent over and above a qualified degree holder in another cadre.

CoG chairman Josphat Nanok said they were concerned that KUCO had called for a strike thus victimising county governments and their citizens for a process that is still ongoing.

Mr Nanok said CoG has been supportive of KUCO on the review of clinical officers job grading, despite the union not having recognition agreements with any county government.

“CoG calls upon KUCO to exercise patience and allow SRC to complete the process,” Mr Nanok said in a statement.


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