Kenya: Governors Call for Swift Negotiations Over Health Workers Strike

Governors now want medical workers to resolve their issues on a county-by-county basis, saying lumping them together was erroneous as some of the issues raised were specific to only some counties.

At the same time, Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi on Thursday lashed out at the national government for what he said was giving a deaf ear to the health workers in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic.

While he thanked the health workers in 22 counties who he said had continued at work as they address their grievances with the respective administrations, Council of Governors chairman Wycliffe Oparanya told the medics on strike to quickly resolve the issues with the concerned counties.

“Most of the issues raised by the union are specific to the to certain counties and, therefore, not all. We urge the union to resolve the issues with the concerned counties,” Mr Oparanya said.

The four issues that cuts across counties and which were being addressed by a multi-agency committee headed by the Labour Cabinet Secretary, Mr Oparanya said, were conversion of all contractual employment to permanent and pensionable terms, enhancement of risk allowance, declaration of Covid-19 as an occupational work hazard and the establishment of a Health Service Commission.

Saying counties were owed Sh60 billion in monthly disbursements for October, November and December, Mr Oparanya said even then, all but two counties–which he did not name, had paid their salaries.

“The lives of all Kenyans mater and we can be able to pull through this pandemic together and save many lives. But we cannot do this with threats and bravado,” Mr Oparanya said.