Deal at last Clinical officers end strike after agreement with Gov’t

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BY NAMULONGO PETER,NAIROBI,1ST,JAN,2021-Clinical officers have agreed to end the 26-day strike that paralysed the country’s public health system.

This after they signed a return to work deal with the Ministry of Health and Council of Governors on Friday.

“The strike is called off immediately. Members to resume duty within the next 24 hours. We will continue with meetings with CS. Members let us offer services, our issues will be addressed,” said George Gibore, the Kenya Union of Clinical Officers Secretary-General.

According to him, clinical officers will be provided with with Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) as the ministry is working to make them available.

He said members have also been assured that they will get medical cover and group life insurance.

“We have agreed on how to finalize the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) and register it in court by February. The CS has committed to undertake it,” Gibore said, adding that the government will take considerable measures for those working on contract.

He further revealed that union officials, the Health Ministry and the CoG have agreed that healthcare workers will get designated facilities which are well-equipped to cater to them when they fall ill.

For those on contract, Gibore said the government will review their contract within six months and court cases emanating from the strike will be withdrawn.

“We have agreed that withheld salaries are to be released and a multi-agency team will be put in place to follow on agreed issues,” he noted.

KUCO Chairperson Peterson Wachira thanked Health CS Mutahi Kagwe for his effort to ensure that workers go back to a safe environment.

“What we have started is not an end, it is a journey. We will go hand in hand and review the process to attain Universal Health Care (UHC),” he said.

On his part, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe said the government is committed to ensure continuity of services.

“We have a new present for Kenyans. We have been working to arrive at a decision with clinical officers….Let us not loose sight of the need to serve our people during this pandemic. Many thanks to our healthcare workers,” the CS said.

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