Clinical officers start nationwide strike

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The Chairperson of the Kenya Union of Clinical Officers Peterson Wachira speaking to the press
The Chairperson of the Kenya Union of Clinical Officers Peterson Wachira speaking to the press

More than eight thousand clinical officers have begun their nationwide strike after the Ministry of Health failed to hold negotiations with the Union on implementation of their collective bargaining agreement. The strike comes barely 14 days after a notice issued by the Union calling on negotiations with the Ministry of Health and County governments.

“We are here because the employers have abdicated their responsibilities and they have refused to negotiate with us. We are here because of agreements that have not been actualized and implemented,” said the Kenya National Union of Clinical Officers chairperson Mr. Peterson Wachira.

The Union claims that the government has failed to negotiate a CBA that will solve promotion and re-designations issues affecting clinical officers, job group stagnation and schemes of service. The Union also want diploma interns to be paid monthly allowances according to the Presidential youth empowerment and internship program where 1.2 million was allocated in the budget to pay all interns. More than 2000 diploma interns have also joined their seniors in the indefinite strike.

In 2017 the Union held a similar strike however the officers and the Ministry of Health agreed a return to work formula in October which ended the strike. In the formula the employer agreed an 80% salary pay and the remaining 20% to be implemented later but according Mr. Wachira the ministry has resorted not honor it. “We decided to seek for alternative dispute resolution mechanism and in that we sort conciliation according to the labor relations act, we went to the ministry of labor and the employer at first refused to come to the table,” said Mr. Wachira.

Written by Elias Wekesa