Health care workers from Makueni county on Monday (28th September) issued a 14-day strike notice. The medics cited delayed promotions, being underpaid as some of their grievances.
The medics chair Mathew Sila called for an active engagement with the county Government saying if that fails to happen the residents may have to suffer when they go on strike.
“If the employer cannot use section L of the human resource manual for this county without discrimination which calls for constructive engagement of the employee representative. If we cannot sanction that article we are going to go on strike. We will be forced to have our citizens suffer.” Sila said.
The union secretary-general said the pay some of the medics were getting is low and even masons were being paid better. She added that the health care workers were the backbone of the county’s universal health care program and risked their lives during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As healthcare workers, we run the UHC program. When you come to the hospital to get treated for free you find us. We have been pressed to the wall. If I employ a mason in my home I pay them 2,000 yet some of them are being paid 800 or 1000. The parents invested in the children’s education. How will they ever get assisted if there is no promotion.” Dorcas said.
“At times some of the health care workers you find them in a bad mood because they have been pushed hard. During COVID they risked their lives…We need to be treated like other county employees. Governor as your term ends ensure you resolve these issues. On 12th October, if these issues are not addressed we will go on strike.”
Makueni County Health Chief officer Patrick Musyoki responding to the claims said the issues raised were being addressed adding they were doing the best to ensure a good working environment and they should avoid going on strike.
“We have treated union workers and our health care workers well. In other counties, health care workers have not been paid but here we have already paid them. The reasons for the strike for promotions and that is ongoing. Some of them will have to do interviews for the promotions to be effected…Even those working under contracts are earning more than those in other counties.” The chief officer added.