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Mandera health workers issue strike notice

Tuesday November 26 2019

Mandera County Referral Hospital

Mandera County Referral Hospital entrance on November 26, 2019. Health workers in the county have issued a 21-day strike notice. PHOTO | MANASE OTSIALO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

MANASE OTSIALO
By MANASE OTSIALO
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Health workers in Mandera County have issued a 21-day strike notice.

The nurses, clinical officers and medical laboratory officers said the strike will kick off on December 16, 2019.

“Following intensive consultation between the unions and the county government for the last two years that have failed to resolve the health workers’ grievances on promotion and enhanced medical cover, we do hereby issue a strike notice effective Monday 25,” reads the notice.

DIALOGUE FAILED

Mandera branch Kenya Union of Nurses Mohamednur Maalim accused the county government of failing to implement the previously signed agreements.

 “We went on strike last in 2015 and the county government agreed to act on issues we raised. We have given dialogue a chance but that has failed too,” he said.

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In their strike notice, the three unions stated they have always sought to resolve issues through dialogue.

“Mandera County government has ignored our grievances since 2015,” said Mr Maalim.

He said nurses have not been promoted even after meeting Governor Ali Roba in September 2017.

 “We have been hoping that after a meeting with the governor things would change but that has never been the case,” he lamented.

The Kenya National Union of Medical Laboratory Officers (KNUMLO) Mandera branch secretary Mr Ndereba Kamanja alleged that their current medical cover is bogus.

MEDICAL COVER

 “We are under AR Medical Cover that is not recommended by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission and our members are being turned away whenever they seek medication,” said Mr Kamanja.

According to KNUMLO, medical staff in Mandera will not accept anything outside the SRC guidelines.

 “We feel short-changed by the county government administration,” he said.

County Health Chief Officer Hassan Mohamed Ahmed said he had received the strike notice.

“We have received the notice from the three unions but we are working on resolving issues raised just like we have done before,” he said.

Mr Ahmed argued that the county has been promoting health workers since 2013.  

 “We had budgeted for the promotions this financial year but due to lack of funds, we could not implement that. The process will resume when we get funds by the end of this month,” he said.

The Kenya Union of Clinical Officers have also threatened to go on strike.