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Nairobi health workers resume work after promotion deal

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NAIROBI, Friday, November 15, 2019, GPS

Health workers in Nairobi have called off their strike after reaching an agreement with the county government.

The workers representatives held a four-hour meeting with county officials led by health executive Veska Kangogo under executive orders from Governor Mike Sonko.

No striking worker will be victimized as part of the agreement reached.

The return-to- work formula will see all promotions be effected from New Year, according to the agreement signed by the county and the health workers unions leaders.

The workers were represented by officials from the Kenya National Union of Nurses and Kenya Union of Clinical Officers.

The health workers will resume work as from November 16, 2019.

The county government will promote and re-designate health workers one job group higher.

Also agreed is the formation of a special committee between the unions and the county to look into issues of stagnation and the recommendations of return-to-work formula submitted to the governor in July.

They agreed to suspend the strike with effect from November 15, as well as having all members resume work the following day.

The health workers were represented by officials from the Kenya Union of Clinical Officers and the Kenya National Union of Nurses.

Knun branch secretary Ediah Muruli asked the county administration to take the signed documents seriously for health services to improve in Nairobi.

“They should not be just on paper. They should be implemented,” said Muruli.

Sonko said dialogue is always the best approach to disputes.

He said health is an important aspect of any economy and it should be given priority by authorities.

“Without good health, no development can be realised anywhere in the world,” Sonko said.

Sonko gave an executive order that top county officials meet the union leaders to reach an amicable solution.

“In the many successful countries I have been to, they have always prioritised people’s health. That is why they are developed,” said the Governor.

He said he wants to replicate the best models from abroad in Nairobi.

Muruli acknowledged that strikes disrupt not only county services but also family issues back at home.

“We promise that if our issues are sorted as agreed, we won’t go on strike because strikes also have their own disadvantages,” Muruli said.

Kuco Nairobi branch secretary Tony Nyakaba said the county has shown commitment for health services.

“Our work is not to go on strike. Our work is to work for the people of Nairobi. We are ready to go back to work,” Nyakaba said.

He said stagnation has been the biggest problem with clinical officers.

Health executive Veska Kangogo said the county and the unions can always work together and serve Nairobi residents.

She said the measures have already started being put in place to ensure promotions are done.

“We started implementing the promotions about four days ago and we are glad that at least they have shown good will,” said Kangogo.

The executive said the county doors are always open for discussion.

Ends…

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