North Rift clinical officers in solidarity after addressing the press in Eldoret on November 12, 2019. Medial Services at government health facilities in the region continue to be hampered as clinical officers press on with strike. PHOTO|HIVISASA
Clinical Officers (COs) in the North Rift who have downed their tools for the past one week threatened to continue with the strike as fight over promotions intensify.
The Kenya Union of Clinical Officers (KUCO) North Rift region Secretary, Jacob Maswai told the press in Eldoret that their strike was still on despite threats by county governments alleging it was illegal.
Maswai urged the clinical officers in the region to disregard the threats from the county government and press on with the strike until their grievances are heard and addressed.
“The county government has been issuing threats to clinical officers, saying that the strike is illegal and intimidating them to resume work. We wish to state that we shall not be intimidated and we shall continue to paralyze services in the health facilities until we come to an agreement with the relevant government authorities,” he stressed.
He called on all their members not to show up at their respective job stations until they get official communication from the secretary-general.
Maswai called on the governors from the region to return to the negotiation table without further ado.
The union’s Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital Secretary, Xavier Wamalwa, called on the county government to backdate payments for interns for the period that they have been on internship.
In Elgeyo Marakwet, The Cos accused Governor Alex Tolgos’ administration of exploiting 16 CO interns attached to several hospitals by declining to pay their medical allowances.
Elgeyo Marakwet county chapter Kenya Union of Clinical Officers (KUCO) General Secretary Mark Kipsang and Chairman Martin Lokalis said all 98 COs working in the county will defy sacking threats issued by senior health officials in the county.
Kipsang claimed that money had been allocated for payment of intern COs during the county’s 2019/2020 budget but the interns are yet to receive their dues.
“We have not gone to work since Monday (last week) but we are surprised that the county government is still not listening to our demands. We are telling that the county that we will not be back to work until when we see promotions and re-designations,” Kipsang warned.
The strike that has lasted over a week now resulted from the county government’s failure to implement a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). The medics also demand for promotions of their colleagues who furthered their studies as well as a salary increment.