, NAKURU, Kenya, Feb 9 – Officials of the Kenya Union of Clinical Officers have threatened to go on strike following the stalling of negotiations of their Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Speaking in Nakuru on Saturday during their National Executive Council meeting, the union officials accused the Ministry of Health, Council of Governors and the Ministry of Labour for not heading to their demands.
The 20,000-member union cited a lack of cooperation from the three parties saying they have no option but to call for a strike.
Led by the union’s Secretary General George Kibore, the officials said the hardline stance taken by ministry officials will drive members to industrial action.
“We have exhausted all the alternative dispute resolution mechanisms for the forestalling 2017 CBA talks as provided for in the law and now left with the singular option of strike,” he said.
He said the frustrations to clinical officers who are the backbone of primary efforts inthe realization of healthcare for all which us one if the big Four Agenda.
He said this will cause suffering for poor Kenyans who cannot afford the cost of treatment in private hospitals.
Members of the union are demanding risk and call allowances raised from Sh3,000 and Sh10,000 to Sh30,000 and Sh70,000 respectively.
They also want health workers’ allowances increased from Sh20,000 to Sh30,000.
The clinicians are asking the government to employ an additional 4,700 officers and a revamped comprehensive medical cover.
“We want the government to start paying our interns. The last time they were paid is 1997 hence they do a lot of work and mostly for long hours, ” said Gibore.
The union also wants the government to allow those who want to advance their training to do so without any delay.
“The counties need to do an assessment and prioritise read of training for the clinical officers. We have less clinical officers who have specialised training like ontology, mental health and reproductive among other areas,” said union’s National Executive Council members.
The union’s officials will hold an advisory council meeting in Nairobi on 16th February to advise on the course of action.