The Union of Kenya Civil Servants wants the government to permanently employ thousands of nurses on contract terms. The union's secretary general Tom Odege has told the Star that they expect the Ministry of Health to employ the 4,200 nurses employed at constituency level. Each constituency employed atleast 20 nurses on three year contracts.
The move to employ the nurses was done under the Economic Stimulus Programme to staff health centers built by the programme in every constituency.
The initiative was meant to help economic growth via employment creation in various departments of government including health. "The stay of the nurses in their jobs todate justifies that there are jobs within the health sector. They now need to rightfully occupy the positions," Odege said.
I wrote to public service commission secretary Bernadette Nzioki on February 14 asking her not to re-advertise the positions held by the nurses, Odege said, adding that the letter was copied to both the Ministry of Public Health and that of Medical Services. "It is not logical to enjoy the services of these workers and then later re-advertise the same positions, it would be total disregard for the workers who have already served," the letter said. The letter appealed to the two ministries to consider the request urgently.
Odege said he has not received any reply from either of the ministries. We might go to court if the nurses are not put on permanent employment by July 1, Odege warned.
Public Health PRO John Kinuthia said the nurses and other health cadres were recruited on a three year contract awaiting to be absorbed to mainstream civil service. "We cannot not change the contract terms, they will definitely be absorbed to the civil service after they complete three years," Kinuthia said.
He added that there is a plan by the ministry to employ another 50 health officers for every constituency on the same three years contract terms.
The ministry of finance allocated Sh22 billion under the Economic Stimulus Programme to key projects in constituencies two years ago. Constituencies were allocated Sh20 million to built model health centres under the first phase of the programme.