Strike in the offing? Health Workers’ Unions threaten to Strike  Over SRC Proposal To Scrap Allowances

Strike in the offing? Health Workers’ Unions threaten to Strike Over SRC Proposal To Scrap Allowances

BY JOAN WANJIKU,NAIROBI,7TH MARCH,2022-Kenya Health Sector Unions have threatened industrial action if the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) does not cease its intended action to abolish allowances for health workers protected under the 2017-2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists’ Union (KMPDU) Secretary General Davji Atellah told news reporters on Monday that the SRC, through the allowances policy guideline for the public service dated October 7 2021, intends to abolish job-related and labour market adjustment allowances payable to medical doctors, pharmacist, dentists and other health workers in the public service.

“Unfortunately, SRC has been frustrating the payment of call allowances negotiated and agreed on in the CBA for doctors working in the national government yet the same has been approved for doctors working under county governments,” KMPDU said.

The Kenya Union of Clinical Officers (KUCO) Secretary General George Gibore endorsed KMPDU’s position.

“It is now imminent that the next reason why health workers will go on strike is because of the SRC revoking the allowances agreed to be awarded to the health workers,” he said.

The allowances policy guideline seeks to among other things streamline allowances and ensure that the proportion of basic salary to gross salary is not less than 60 per cent.

The unions noted that the guidelines were published without the requisite public participation of bonafide stakeholders and was not subjected to the test of transparency and accountability which they cited as unconstitutional.

Further, Atellah reiterated that the SRC has continuously and consistently frustrated efforts by the unions to negotiate and conclude the collective bargaining which they termed as actions that cause industrial disharmony in the sector.

The unions called on policymakers to prevent the enforcement of the policy guideline.

“Before we move to a strike, we are publicly petitioning the policymakers to put a stop to these SRC nefarious actions which are bound to cause havoc in the health sector,” Gibore said.

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