The Star (Kenya)
Health workers in Embu start work boycott to demand pay
E medics want the County Public Service Board to pay July and August salaries before they can resume duty
residents were unable to get services in all public hospitals on Wednesday after health workers boycotted work to demand salary arrears.
Outpatient services were disrupted and patients in wards left unattended. No services were offered in the laboratories, pharmacies and in the morgues.
e workers from all cadres want the Public Service Board to pay July and August salaries before they can resume work.
ey say the PSB has not paid Covid-19 special allowances and failed to harmonise salaries of workers on contract as well as remit last year’s statutory deductions.
Led by the Kenya National Union of Nurses’ national chair Joseph Ngwaci, the workers demonstrated on Embu streets and sought audience with Governor Martin Wambora.
Unionist Dennis Mugambi said they issued a notice to the administration but it had adamantly refused heed to their cries.
e workers condemned county secretary Johnson Nyaga for failing to meet and discuss the issue with them. ey said they will not resume duties until their demands are met.
Patients who went to the hospitals seeking services were stranded and returned home. Relatives of patients in wards had to look for private hospitals.
Eustace Nyaga, whose nephew had been in hospital for two weeks after being bitten by a cobra in Mbeere, said they would look for another facility.
Mercy Mbae who had bought her son for treatment went back with him. ey called on the workers and the county government to agree on how to end the strike.
Elsewhere in Tana River, health workers said they will continue with their strike until all their demands are met. Speaking to the press on Wednesday, Kenya National Union of Nurses branch secretary general Damon Kwaraa said the Health executive failed to give them a good reason to call off the strike.
e strike has been going on for one and half weeks now. Kwaraa said, “We went on strike for reasons such as lack of promotions, non-payment of allowances during this Covid-19 period and non-functional health facilities at Hola County Referral Hospital.”
Health executive Javan Bonaya warned that the administration shall take stern measures against the striking health workers.