Kenya: Nearly 5,000 KNH Workers Threaten Strike Over Delayed Higher Salaries

21 September 2020

About 5,000 workers at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) have issued a seven-day strike notice over delayed disbursement of improved salaries and allowances.

Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotels, Educational Institutions and Hospital Workers (Kudheiha), the Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) and the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) made the announcement on Monday.

They demanded implementation of resolutions from the State Corporation Advisory Committee that were passed in 2012, which upgraded the hospital's parastatal status from 3C to 7A.

Following the re-categorisation of the facility, all staff working at KNH were supposed to get enhanced pay but this did not happen, causing some staff to go on strike late last year.

During this time, KNH management and staff discussed a return-to-work formula.

However, the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) said the formula is not a basis for demanding a review of remuneration as it is not only fiscally unsustainable but will also cause distortions in salary structure in the sector.

Job evaluation

KMPDU's acting Secretary-General Chibanzi Mwachonda said the hospital management has attempted to solve the matter on several occasions but the SRC has maintained that KNH retains the current remuneration structure as it awaits job evaluation for remuneration review cycle 2021/22 to 2014/25.

"In view of the above, we demand that the hospital implement a salary for all employees working in your facility as approved by the State Corporation Advisory Committee through a letter dated September 13, 2020 within seven days, failing which all employees represented by the signed unions will commence a strike on September 28," he said.

The union's Nairobi branch secretary Thuranira Kaugiria said the matter lies squarely with the SRC, and not the employer or Treasury.

Dr Kaugiria added that without a letter from the SRC approving the revised salaries, they will begin their strike on Monday.

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