No end in sight to patients pain as medics talks fail

Friday, January 22nd, 2021 00:00 |
Empty wards at the Kisumu County and Referral Hospital after patients were forced to go back home following the ongoing nurses’ strike. Photo/PD/Viola Kosome

  by Monica Kagia

Negotiations between Mombasa County Government and striking health workers unions have hit a snag.

This was after the unions claimed Governor Hassan Joho’s administration was attempting to dupe them to end the strike by signing a vague agreement without timelines.

Health workers have since issued fresh demands they say the county must fulfil before they consider any negotiations for a Return-To-Work Formula (RTWF).

“We had a meeting where we discussed a RTWF, however, while going through the document, all the progress we made was declined and the employer abandoned all commitments with no clear timelines as to when our demands would be implemented rendering all our previous discussions nugatory,” said Kenya National Union of Nurses Mombasa branch Secretary General Peter Maroko (pictured).

Consequently, the nurses have abandoned any negotiations with their employer and vowed to continue with their strike, which has now entered the 11th week.  

The nurses now want the county to finalise all pending promotions and further considerations of the appeals made according to the agreed Memorandum of Agreement signed on July 1, 2020 at the labour office with immediate effect.

They have given the county until January 22 to release the promotion letters and to at least pay two months deductions in arrears by January 31, to start processing of phase two promotions.

“On this backdrop of the above developments, we now issue the following demands, that the Mombasa County Government pay all remittances giving priority to bank and Sacco loans, insurance premiums and other third party deductions immediately before we have any meaningful engagements, further that they process all promotions including appeals immediately” said Maroko.

They have also demanded the Council of Governors to withdraw all negative remarks and statements made to the detriment of the ongoing negations at the Labour Ministry and avail themselves for meetings to unlock the stalemate.

In addition, they have asked the National Treasury to unconditionally release all monies owed by counties to enable them meet their financial obligations. The striking health workers have further asked the President to provide leadership to unlock the health crisis.

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