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KNH health workers threaten to down tools

By Alvin Mwangi
Monday, September 28th, 2020
KMPDU acting Secretary-General Chibanzi Mwachonda. Photo/PD/File
In summary

A crisis is looming at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH), after health workers threatened to down tools today, if their salaries and allowances are not reviewed.

The health workers, led by their officials from Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU), Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) and Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotels, Education Institutions, Hospitals and Allied Workers want KNH to implement the new salaries.

Their move follows a State advisory committee’s recommendation  through a letter dated September 13, 2012.

KMPDU acting Secretary General Chibanzi Mwachonda said  in spite of the the union suspending strike on several occasions to pave way for negotiations, KNH top management has refused to effect the said pay.

“These monies are available. They have been partially implemented because the former Chief Executiove Officers benefited,”  Mwachonda said. 

Bridge gap 

Workers and the management have had a long running dispute since 2012 when the State Corporation Advisory Committee recategorised all parastatals including referral hospitals from level 3B to PC 7A.

Unions claim the re-categorisation should have come with a salary increment for  all  the 7,000 workers, a move that KNH management and the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC)  have opposed.

In 2019, the hospital’s board of management sought funds from the Treasury to implement the new pay for the health workers.

The Treasury set aside Sh2.4 billion and it handed over Sh601 million to KNH early this year.

“We are sending a message to SRC, their job was to bridge the gap between the high-income earners, with that of low-income earners but not to increase the salaries of the top managers and forget about those who work under them,” said KNUN chairperson Alfred Obengo.

If the salary review is implemented across board, many employees would have their pay doubled, swelling KNH’s wage bill.