Nairobi County promotes striking clinical workers, blames Revenue bill for the delay

Nairobi County Ag Health CEC, Nairobi County Public Service Board Chair Mohamed Abdikadir and Nairobi County Chief Officer for Health Mohamed Sahal (far right) while addressing media on the promotion of Nairobi health workers on November 12, 2019.|GPS| Nairobi County

City Hall has promoted 2,153 health workers after reaching an agreement with the Kenya Clinical Officers Union and the Kenya National Union of Nurses.

Beneficiaries are in the common cadre establishment.

Some 600 other officers have been promoted through a competitive process as per the law.

The 2,153 cut across all the cadres of health workers but majority are clinical officers and nurses in the county health facilities.

The promotions and re-designations were done as per the scheme of service in the public service sector.

This is going to cost the county Sh130 million with Sh99 million already available in the health sector budget for this year.

Acting Health Executive Vesca Kagongo on Tuesday said the County’s Public Service Board, upon verification and confirmation of available budget, made the decision to promote all eligible health workers.

She said the two unions had written to the county on November 4 notifying it of intention to strike.

Kenya Union of Clinical Officers Strike at Nairobi’s Uhuru Park | PHOTO: SAM MUTHOKA

Governor Mike Sonko would later direct that a meeting be held together with the two unions so that an agreement is reached.

A meeting was held on Friday last week and the governor directed that all eligible health workers are promoted within seven days in accordance with his manifesto.

“This in order to ensure accessible healthcare to all Nairobi residents. We are doing all these to avert any incidents of disruption of health services,’’ stated Sonko.

“In the meeting, we went through the grievances and we had very successful discussions on the way forward,” Vesca said.

The two unions had in July given Governor Mike Sonko two reports detailing their grievances.

However, their main concerns raised in the notice of strike was about promotions and re-designations.

The County PSB had to harmonize all the grievances of the three categories of health workers; those who transitioned from the defunct City Council of Nairobi, those who were absorbed from the national government and those who have been employed by the board since 2013.

Kenya Union of Clinical Officers branch Secretary-General  Franklin Makanga | PHOTO: SAM MUTHOKA

The CPSB chairman Mohamed Abdikadir said they considered all health workers for promotion as a matter of urgency.

The board has delegated the execution of the new move to the Health chief officer.

“As a board we look at issues affecting the entire staff of the county and this is a process that goes on daily. On this issue, we acted as per the provisions of the County Government Act,” said Abdikadir.

The chairman said the standoff between the Senate and the National Assembly on the Division of Revenue Bill had stalled its operations.

Nurses who transitioned from the defunct City Council of Nairobi had a Collective Bargaining Agreement with the council while the rest, through their respective unions, have grievances on allowances which the county is working on.

Following this move, the county has called on nurses who have gone on strike to return to work because what they raised in their notice of strike has been done.

“We are asking those who did not report to work to do so as we continue looking at other issues that have been raised in the past,” Vesca said.