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Bomet nurses storm Laboso's office over delayed salaries

Monday August 6 2018

Knun Bomet officials

Knun Bomet Branch Secretary Vincent Rono (centre), Bomet Deputy Governor Hillary Barchok (left) and Health CEC Joseph Sitonik (right) address journalists on August 6, 2018 after meeting union officials who stormed the county headquarters demanding their members be paid June and July salaries. PHOTO | VITALIS KIMUTAI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

VITALIS KIMUTAI
By VITALIS KIMUTAI
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Kenya National Union of Nurses (Knun) officials Monday demonstrated at the Bomet County headquarters demanding to be paid their June and July salaries.

Led by branch secretary Vincent Rono, the 30 officials drawn from hospitals in the five sub-counties held a procession from Bomet Health Centre to the county headquarters which is one kilometre away.

They were met by Deputy Governor Hillary Barchok, County Medical Services Executive Joseph Sitonik, his Finance colleague Andrew Sigey and Chief Officer for Health Mr Philemon Ruto.

They met with the four county officials for two hours.

IN THE DARK

"We have been kept in the dark over the salary delay and we are here today to get an explanation from the county leadership on the matter. We have been pushed to the wall by our members who have threatened to down their tools if a solution is not forthcoming today since they are unable to meet their financial obligations," Mr Rono said.

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“Our members are in their workstations and they are waiting for word from us before they down their tools. The strike is not on yet and that is why it is only the union officials who are here," he added.

IMPASSE RESOLVED

Dr Barchok said the salaries’ delay over had been caused by failure by the National Treasury to release money in time. But he was quick to add that the impasse had been resolved.

"We have assured the health and other cadre of employees that the money has this morning been released to their respective bank accounts and they can immediately go and confirm the same," Dr Barchok said.

Mr Sigey on his part said the county had faced cash flow issues especially on recurrent expenditure because the executive had been ordered by the Labour court sitting in Kericho to pay former local authority workers Sh34 million in May this year.

"It should also be known that the budgetary allocations we inherited from the previous administration only covered eleven months instead of twelve months and to bridge that gap we have had to twice go for supplementary budgets," Mr Sigey said.

At the weekend, Governor Joyce Laboso, who was away from office Monday, had assured the employees that their salaries would be paid this week, adding that even the executive members had also not been paid.

"'It is not only the health staff who have not been paid their salaries but the entire workforce including myself. I have not been paid salaries for the last two months as well because we have one payroll," Dr Laboso said.

She said the money had been delayed as a result of transition from the previous financial year to the current one in June this year.