Nairobi News


Why clinical officers are threatening to strike

The Kenya Union of Clinical Officers (KUCO) has issued an ultimatum to the Ministry of Health, demanding immediate action on several critical issues affecting its members.

The union has set a deadline of Friday for the ministry to respond to their grievances, failure to which they will resort to industrial action.

At the core of their demands is the posting of over 800 interns, who were supposed to be assigned to their respective positions in December 2022. Despite assurances from the ministry, in numerous meetings, this commitment remains unfulfilled.

“We have been patient for far too long, but our members’ rights are being violated. The ministry must act now,” said the union’s Secretary General George Gibore.

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KUCO is also demanding the immediate renewal of employment contracts for Universal Health Coverage staff, which were due to expire at the end of May.

Further, KUCO is urging the Ministry of Health and the Council of Governors to establish a negotiating committee, chaired by the Minister of Labour, to resume negotiations for a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

These negotiations have been left unresolved, depriving members of fair remuneration, reasonable working conditions, and their right to collective bargaining.

Peterson Wachira, Chairperson of KUCO, emphasized the gravity of the situation.

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“The failure to conclude CBAs not only denies our members their rights but also hinders their professional growth and puts them at a disadvantage compared to their counterparts already in service,” Wachira explained.

He further argued that subjecting Universal Health Coverage staff to contractual employment agreements is not only unfair but also discriminatory, contradicting the principles of fair labor practices enshrined in the Constitution.

KUCO has warned that if the Ministry of Health fails to address their demands by the end of Friday, June 2, their members, including the interns and Universal Health Coverage staff, will gather at the ministry headquarters on Monday, June 5, to demand their rights.

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