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Deal with county averts planned Mandera medics' strike

Monday December 16 2019
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Mandera County Referral Hospital entrance on November 26, 2019. The Mandera County government has signed an agreement with three health workers' unions averting a looming strike. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By MANASE OTSIALO

The health workers’ strike that has been looming since last month in Mandera County has been averted.

This is after the county government reached an agreement with the three health workers' unions that had jointly issued a strike notice on November 24, 2019.

Kenya National Union of Nurses (Knun), Kenya Union of Clinical Officers and The Kenya National Union of Medical Laboratory Officers (KNUMLO) jointly had threatened to go on strike over job promotions.

The three unions also demanded better medical cover for the health workers in the county.

On Friday, Governor Ali Roba’s administration agreed to promote all common cadre officers who have completed three years in service to the next job group.

County Health Chief Officer Hassan Mohamed Ahmed confirmed the new deal, further stating that the county leadership is keen on fulfilling the health workers’ demands.

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“We have reached an agreement and we shall be promoting our medical staff from next year,” said Mr Ahmed.

STRUCK DEAL

The agreement was signed by representatives of the three unions, the two county government chief officers and the County Minister for Health Shamsa Mohamed.

“Those devolved staff who have not benefited from the mass promotion in 2015 will be considered,” reads the agreement.

The county government further promised to promote health officers who have remained dormant in one job group to the next level.

“The promotion will be effected from January 1, 2020 and letters of promotion will be issued latest January 10,” reads the agreement.

Despite the unions threatening to take the industrial action due to poor medical cover services, the issue was not captured in their Friday agreement.

“We deliberated on the medical cover issue and later realised that the county government cannot drop the current service provider until the end of this financial year. We shall wait until July to remind them of the same,” said Mr Mohamednur Maalim, Knun secretary, Mandera branch.

The three unions had issued the strike notice after what they termed as the county government engaging them in a cat-and-mouse game for two years which had left the health workers’ grievances unresolved.

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