Health workers seal deal, end week-long pay row

Monday, November 18th, 2019 05:54 |
Nurses strike. Photo/File

Health workers in Nairobi on Friday officially called off their strike after reaching an agreement with City Hall.

 The workers’ representatives held a four-hour meeting with county officials led by acting Health Executive Veska Kangogo under executive orders from Governor Mike Sonko. 

No striking worker will be victimised as part of the agreement reached. 

According to Nairobi County Communications director Elkanah Jacob, their main grievances were promotions, designation and official letter that they would be  promoted. 

The workers downed tools on November 8. 

The  return-to- work formula will see all promotions backdated from January 1, 2019,  according to the agreement signed by the county and the health workers unions’ leaders.

Workers were represented by officials from the Kenya National Union of Nurses and Kenya Union of Clinical Officers.

The health workers will resume work from November 16. The county government will promote and re-designate health workers one job group higher. Also agreed is the formation of a special team between the unions and the county to look into issues of stagnation and the recommendations of return-to-work formula submitted to the governor in July.  

They agreed to suspend the strike with effect from November 15, as well as having all members resume work the following day. Knun branch secretary Ediah Muruli asked the county administration to take the signed documents seriously for health services to improve in Nairobi.

“They should not be just on paper. They should be implemented,” said Muruli.

Muruli acknowledged that strikes disrupt not only county services but also family issues back at home. “We promise that if our issues are sorted as agreed, we won’t go on strike because strikes also have their own disadvantages,” he said.

Service delivery

Kuco Nairobi branch secretary Tony Nyakaba said the county had shown commitment to improve health services.

“Our work is not to go on strike. Our work is to work for the people of Nairobi. We are ready to go back to work,” Nyakaba said.  He said stagnation has been the biggest problem with clinical officers.

Kangogo said the county and the unions could work together and serve Nairobi residents.  She said the measures had started being put in place to ensure promotions were effected.

“We started implementing the promotions about four days ago and we are glad that at least they have shown goodwill,” said Kangogo.

The executive said the county doors are always open for discussion.

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