Counties

Nakuru sets aside Sh60m for paying striking medics

Kenya Medical Association and Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya Nakuru officials during a Press briefing. PHOTO | SULEIMAN MBATIAH
Kenya Medical Association and Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya Nakuru officials during a Press briefing. PHOTO | SULEIMAN MBATIAH 

The Nakuru County Assembly has set aside Sh60 million to pay salary arrears of striking health workers. The funds are contained in a Sh166 million Nakuru County Supplementary Appropriation Bill, 2017.

The workers who went on strike last Friday have not been paid their salaries since December last year.

The strike has paralysed services in all public hospitals for more than four days with the doctors and specialists vowing to resume duties only when payments reflect in their accounts.

The Supplementary Appropriation Bill, already past the second reading stage, is set to be passed beforethe House goes for an indefinite recess on June 16.

To get money for the health workers, the Finance, Budget and Appropriation committee, which drafted the Bill, has had to cut funding other departments.

The sports department has taken the biggest hit with Sh22 million of its allocation shaved off “due to heightened political activities ahead of the general elections.”

The recruitment of 220 additional enforcement officers at Sh20 million has also been put on ice as well as the employment of an unspecified number of village administrators at a similar figure.

The committee also recommended the suspension of recruitment of Early Childhood Development Education teachers at Sh16 million.

“These suspensions of additional staff are aimed at averting imminent adverse industrial action by health workers whose revised salaries and allowances have not been paid,” said the chairman of the Budget and Appropriation Committee Mr Moses Ndung’u Kamau.

The biggest winners in the Bill are the 140 casual youth polytechnic instructors who have been absorbed into permanent establishment with effect from June this year after Sh6million was set aside for their salaries.

The committee also set aside Sh10 million to cater for the employment of casual workers in the department of environment, water and natural resources.