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

- REUBEN GITHINJI/EMBU

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.

 ?? /REUBEN GITHINJI ?? Health work­ers protest on Wed­nes­day
/REUBEN GITHINJI Health work­ers protest on Wed­nes­day

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