Kenya’s Healthcare workers have reaffirmed their plans to initiate a strike on July 14, 2023, citing the government’s alleged lack of willingness to engage in discussions regarding their remuneration terms.
Through their respective unions, the workers claim that despite allowing ample time for the government to address the concerns related to their Collective Bargaining Agreement(CBA), no progress or resolution has been made.
During a press briefing on Thursday morning, George Gibore, the Secretary General of the Kenya Union of Clinical Officers (KUCO), emphasized that healthcare workers are frustrated and understaffed.
“On May 15, 2023, we issued a 60-day strike notice to the Ministry of Health and County Governments regarding unconcluded CBAs and Recognition Agreements,” said the unions.
“As of today, 46 days later, we haven’t seen any efforts towards finalisation of these collective bargaining agreements. We also note that this unresponsiveness has been the norm and a great saboteur to harmonious working relationships between Unions, Health Ministry and counties.”
Advocating for the prioritization of the health sector, the healthcare workers urged the government to fulfill its promise of employing 20,000 health workers.
Additionally, they are demanding that Nakuru County absorbs all healthcare workers who have been working under county-based contracts.
The Unions also want the government to involve the public in discussions regarding contributions to the National Health Insurance Fund(NHIF). They believe that transparent engagement will help reassure Kenyans of the provision of quality healthcare services.
“Many Kenyans have challenges using NHIF cards to access health service against a background of corruption scandals bedeviling the institution. NHIF must explain to Kenyans how the enhancement of contributions will enable them to access quality services without suffering catastrophic financial harm.”
The unions include the Kenya Union of Clinical Unions, the Kenya National Union of Nurses, the Kenya National Union of Medical Laboratory Oficers and others.