Kenya: KNH Workers Down Tools Over Delayed Salary Review

28 September 2020

Nairobi — Kenyatta National Hospital Workers went on strike Monday over a delayed pay increase, and vowed that they will not offer their services until their demands are met.

The workers include doctors and nurses under the Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotels and Education Institutions.

They were led by Kenya National Union of Nurses(KNUN) branch chairperson Linus Osenye who said the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) ought to implement the 2012 salary review for the workers to call off the strike.

"We are tired of them asking us to give those 21 days. Does writing a concurrence letter take 21 days? We will not be intimidated and neither will we go back to work until we are told our money is in the bank," Osenye said.

Kenya National Union of Nurses Secretary General Seth Panyako has accused the SRC of overstepping its mandate and failing to implement the salary review which has been approved by Parliament. They said the money was already released by the National Treasury.

"KNH management is ready to increase salaries because the money is there. Parliament approved the review; National Treasury released 601 million shillings to KNH for implementation and so it is SRC that has caused all these problems for not playing its part," said Panyako.

In 2012 SRC's advisory committee evaluated all parastatals in the country including referral hospitals such as KNH which was upgraded from level 3C to 7A, consequently elevating all the 7000 employees to a different salary scale a review.

"When the hospital was re-categorized, a new salary scale was also approved but only the salary of the Chief Executive Officer was implemented and the rest were ignored. We are not children of a lesser God and what we want is the SRC to give a concurrence so that the money can be paid," Shop Steward Kenneth Thuranira said on Friday during a peaceful demonstration by KNH workers.

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