KNH health workers give 7-day strike notice over failed salary review


KNH health workers give 7-day strike notice over failed salary review
Health workers at KNH issue strike notice on September 21, 2020.

Healthcare workers at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) have threatened to go on strike from Monday next week, accusing the facility of failing to implement a proposed salary review.

Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN), Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) and the Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotels, Education institutions, Hospitals and Allied Workers issued a joint statement on Monday at the KNH precincts.

The health workers – including doctors, nurses and members of other unions outside the health profession – gathered outside the accident and emergency area to send their stern warning to the Salaries and Remunerations Commission (SRC) for failing to implement a dispute resolution concerning re-categorization of their salaries.

While blaming the hospital’s management for failing to implement the dispute resolution which was approved in 2012, the workers said they however have a bigger bone to pick with SRC.

In 2012 the state corporation advisory committee evaluated all parastatals in the country including referral hospitals such as KNH which they upgraded from level 3B to 7A, consequently elevating all the 7000 employees to a different salary scale.

In 2019, the hospital’s management board approached Treasury seeking funds to implement the new salary figures for the health workers. Treasury set aside Ksh.2.4 billion and handed over Ksh.601 million to KNH early this year.

In the re-categorization process, salary scales for all job categories were factored in and improved, for instance those in job group K1 earning slightly over Ksh.191,000 would now earn a minimum of Ksh.318,566.

Those in job group K3 earning slightly above Ksh.141,000 would now earn a minimum of Ksh.211,793 while those in job group K13 earning Ksh.23,810 were now entitled to a minimum salary of Ksh.27,509.

The SRC has however since put breaks on the implementation process saying the re-categorization was only meant to move the hospital to a higher category but did not involve any salary review.

In a letter dated September 2, 2020, which was received on September 16 by KNH, the commission informed Dr. Evanson Kamuri, the hospital’s CEO, to halt the salary review process saying that only SRC is mandated to review salaries for public officers.

The healthcare workers are now demanding that the hospital implements the salary review for all employees working in the facility as approved by the state advisory committee through a letter dated September 13, 2012 within seven days failure to which all employees represented by the unions will commence a strike on September 28, 2020.

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Story By Nimrod Taabu
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