May 20, 2018

Government move to avert workers strike

The Government on Friday (13/4/17) moved to stop a strike by clinical officers in public hospitals.

Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki invited officials of the Kenya Union of Clinical Officers (KUCO) to try and end the stalemate.

KUCO Secretary General George Gibore indicated they met the Health CS and officials from the Ministry of Health at Afya House in Nairobi.

Gibore, however, did not reveal details of their meeting.

“We received the invitation this week for the meeting with the CS, we do not know who else was invited,” he said.

The health workers on Wednesday issued a 28-day strike notice to the State for allegedly messing up the process of negotiating their CBA.

“The union submitted the draft CBA in November 2017 as agreed upon in last year’s return to work formula. For the past four months the Government has always fallen short of quorum during the negotiation meetings. They have further indicated they are not willing to negotiate on the disputed clauses unless the union accepts their position. As a union we view this as a tactic aimed at demoralizing us,” said Gibore on Wednesday.

Gibore accused the State of turning a blind eye to clinical officers’ woes.

“What we are demanding for is equipping of facilities in the hospitals and the Government to further address the understaffing problem faced in the hospitals. We are also asking for internship payment for our students as provided for in the labour laws.

“We urge the Government to put a key interest in the health sector if we are to achieve Universal Health Care as indicated in the Government’s Big Four agenda,” the union boss added.

On his part, KUCO chairman Peterson Wachira accused the State of intimidating and arm-twisting members of the union.

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