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Joho in spot as Mombasa health workers declare wage strike

Emily Mursoi, branch secretary of KMWU Mombasa, speaking to the press at the General Hospital and Coast Referral in Mombasa, January 2022. [Omondi Onyango, Standard]

Five Mombasa County health worker unions confirmed yesterday that their strike against wages delayed for November and December of last year was underway.

Doctors have pledged to take industrial action until they receive full salaries, their deductions from the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) are paid and medical coverage cards are completed. activated.

Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN), Kenya Union of Pharmaceutical Technologists, Kenya Health Workers Professional Society (KHWPS), Kenya National Union of Laboratory Officers (KNULO) and Kenya Union of Clinical Officers (KUCO) reported that their more than 4,000 members will begin the strike today until their grievances are resolved.

“We wish to state that despite the fact that the leaders of the Mombasa County government have been engaged over the past two years to try to ensure a conducive working environment, nothing tangible has come out of our talks,” said Mr. Frankline Makanga, Executive Secretary of KUCO Mombasa. .

Ms Emily Mosoi, the KNUN branch secretary, said they were fed up with the employer’s empty promises.

“From midnight, we will stay away from our workstations. The strike is the only dialogue our employer understands. However, we are sorry for our patients and urge them to seek drugs from alternative health facilities, ”she said.

KNULO branch secretary Mr. Moses Maingi said no one should take advantage of their plight, which he urged politicians not to politicize.

“The fact that nearly 4,000 workers in the port city of Mombasa are not working is an economic war. What we want is for the listed grievances to be dealt with, ”he said.

Separately, the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) issued a strike notice last Tuesday, saying discussions with the county health department over their grievances have stalled.

KMPDU Coastal Section Secretary Dr Nassir Shaban said that for at least two years they have had discussions with the Mombasa County Government to ensure that all doctors in the county come under the National Fund for health insurance to no avail.

Shaban said 40 doctors working at the Coast General Health and Referral Hospital were not registered with the NHIF.

“We are in contact with other doctors from neighboring counties and they received their salaries on time. Over the past eight months, it was normal for the Mombasa County government to delay doctors’ salaries, ”Shaban said.

Yesterday, two Mombasa lawmakers called on Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho to take matters into his own hands and ensure doctors’ grievances are dealt with once and for all.

Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir, who met with representatives of the doctors in his constituency office, said he had spoken to Joho and hoped an amicable solution would be found. Nassir also said he asked Joho to ensure that Mombasa County government staff who did not receive their salaries are paid.

“It’s January and we all know the burdens that come with the first month of the year. It is only fair that workers and doctors are paid their salaries and that all their grievances are dealt with and dealt with, ”Nassir said, urging MCA members in Mombasa County to request a special session on the matter.

Likoni MP Mishi Mboko called on Governor Joho to step in and ensure that the relevant departments responsible for workers’ contributions act swiftly on the issue.

“We must act quickly to avoid any form of strike at a time when the world is grappling with the effects of a global Covid-19 pandemic,” Mboko said, a call that was echoed by local religious leaders.

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