Embu has extended job contracts of over 100 medics working under the economic stimulus programme (ESP) as it awaits cash to hire them on permanent basis.
County acting secretary Raymond Kinyua said Embu faces a shortage of health workers, but lacks adequate funds to pay them higher salaries. He said the county is awaiting budgetary allocation next year.
“We have agreed that the ESP workers continue working on contractual basis. We need to absorb them as permanent and pensionable,” he said.
Embu Kenya health professionals union executive secretary Aloysius Njoka welcomed the deal, saying they would continue pushing for better terms.
However, Kenya National Union of Nurses officials, who represent majority of the health workers under the ESP said they did not support the deal and threatened to go on strike.
Union deputy national chairman Joseph Ngwasi said they had given the county ample time to sort out the pay issue but they had failed to do so.
He said it was unfair for workers under ESP, some of whom manned various health centres in the county.
“We have urged our staff to stay away from work until an amicable solution can be arrived at. We have closed down various hospitals in the county and they shall remain shut,” said Mr Ngwasi.
He said the county had a huge shortage of medics due to natural attrition and retirement.