Siaya health workers threaten to go on strike over delayed pay

Sauri Community Health

Sauri Community Health Centre in Siaya County. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Health workers in Siaya County have issued a seven-day strike notice to the county government.

Among the issues they want addressed include delayed salaries, failure to remit statutory deductions and promotions.

Led by thr Kenya Union of Clinical officers’ secretary Kennedy Opiyo, and Kenya National Union of Nurses secretary Siaya branch Silvester Ng’anda, the medics have accused the county government of neglecting their welfare despite raising complains in a previous letter addressed to the finance department.

“Despite receiving the letter from the unions, the department of Finance has remained silent notwithstanding the urgent nature of the problem in the letter,” said union officials in a statement.

The health workers lamented that they facing hard financial times as they have not received salaries for July and August.

“It’s quite disheartening that our members cannot receive any medical services contrary to the law. In addition to our problems, the promotion for September 2020 have not been implemented fully and even those implemented the arrears have not been paid,” noted Mr Ng’anda.

Meanwhile, health wrokers in Kisumu have said a section of the colleagues have been denied January and February salaries.

The Kenya Union of Clinical officers secretary Craus Okumu said the county government has illegally declined to pay 400 health workers their January and February salaries.

“Two union officials have been denied salaries from December last year to date," said Mr Okumu.

The Employment and Labour Relations Court in Kisumu on June 24 ordered the promotions and payment of arrears backdating to July 2019.

They have complained that they are not able to access healthcare service due to the default in payment NHIF deduction by the county. About 300 Healthcare workers who were due for promotions and redesignation were left out. The health workers also complained their employer had violated an earlier agreement for paying their salaries by the fifth day of every month.

"The only language the county government knows is a strike. They are known to be in contempt of the court ruling that was given to them," he said.