Health workers down tools in Homa-Bay County.

Health workers in Homa Bay County’s public health facilities have downed their tools paralyzing health care services.

The health workers accused their employer of delays in payment of April Salaries, failure to remit statutory deductions, stagnation in job groups and understaffing.

The Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) Secretary Omondi Njonje, Trustee Lilian Ogutu and the Kenya Union of Clinical Officers Executive Secretary Philip Mbom said they had no option but to down their tools in the quest for attention from their employer.

Nyonje said Homa Bay County government had violated their agreement of paying them salaries by the 8th day of every month.

“We have not received our salaries for April and were banking on the money to take our children to school,” Nyonje said.

He also expressed concerns that failure in remission of statutory deductions was denying health workers medical cover.

“We cannot be treated using National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) cover because our employer does not remit our contributions. We are also slapped with huge fines for the delays by financial institutions we borrow funds,” Nyonje said.

The Secretary lamented that many health workers had worked for many years without promotion.

“There some of us who were given promotion letters more than a year ago but the promotion has not been effected in their salaries. There are many others who applied for promotion some years back but they have not got any feedback,” Nyonje added.

Mbom expressed concerns that the county government had reneged on its promises on welfare of health workers yet Governor Cyprian Awiti’s term ends on August 9.

“The county government has not communicated on delay of salaries. The only option we have is to down our tools,” Mbom said.

According to Ogutu, understaffing is a serious challenge in the county.

This makes it difficult for them to undertake their duties well.

“Homa Bay County Referral hospital alone requires additional 300 nurses,” Ogutu said.

The nurses are enjoined with clinical officers and Doctors in the industrial action.

However, Homa Bay County Executive Committee Member for Health Richard Muga said they were working on resolving the health workers’ grievances.

“We rely on devolved funds from the national government to pay workers their salaries which sometimes delays. We are putting measures in place to ensure their grievances are addressed,” Muga said.



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