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Taita-Taveta health workers call off strike

Sunday November 17 2019

Taita Taveta medics strike.

Health workers protesting at Moi County Referral Hospital in Voi on November 13, 2019. They have called off their week-long strike. PHOTO | LUCY MKANYIKA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

LUCY MKANYIKA
By LUCY MKANYIKA
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Medics in Taita Taveta have called off their week-long strike that paralysed health services in the county.

On Friday, the Employment and Labour Relations Court suspended the strike and ordered the health workers to return to work pending hearing and determination of the case filed by the county government.

The county government moved to court after negotiations with the medics’ unions failed.

The medics were protesting over their promotion arrears and non-payment of casual workers. The county owes the workers Sh60 million.

Casuals claim they have not received their wages for 12 months amounting to Sh4 million. The workers had turned down county government’s offer of Sh30 million to settle the arrears.

County government officials asked a Mombasa court to suspend the strike to end residents’ suffering. The unions said they decided to go back to work as they had been directed by the court.

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County's Kenya National Union of Nurses Secretary-General Richard Nyambu said the court had ordered their employer to pay all casuals by December.

The order stated that all arrears be settled by April 2020. “We have suspended the strike," he said.

County secretary Liverson Mghendi said the they were willing to pay all arrears owed to health workers.

He accused the health workers of frustrating the county government by boycotting work while their grievances were being addressed.

"They are doing injustice to residents because, at the end of the day, we will pay them their salaries," he said.

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