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Clinical officers say strike will continue until demands are met

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Clinical officers in Murang’a County have said the ongoing strike will continue until their demands are met.

Speaking in Murang’a, during a meeting with Governor Irungu Kang’ata, the officers led by the Kenya Union of Clinical Officers (KUCO) Secretary General, George Gibore said they had discussed their demands with the governor and were hopeful they will be met so that they can go back to work.

Gibore held that previously, there have been issues with the promotions of clinical officers stating that one of the agreements reached is that the county will adhere to the newly approved career progression guidelines for clinical officers.

“Previously they used to promote personnel without any guideline but now there is this guideline which is actually a fruit of the strike in place.” He said adding that there have been cases where clinical officers have not been promoted for six years which is not acceptable.

The secretary general noted that to relieve the workload of the officers they had agreed that the governor will employ more clinical officers to serve in the over 170 health facilities in the county.

“The governor has committed to continuously employ clinical officers to ensure there are enough officers in every facility.” He said.

He also noted that there is still contention surrounding the employment and remuneration of interns and the union is working to come to an agreement with the government.

Gibore further on highlighted the plight of clinical officers employed during the Covid-19 pandemic who are still on contract in spite of having the same job description and qualifications with their colleagues.

The secretary general called upon the government to prioritize healthcare by stabilizing the human resource and allocating more funds towards personnel and equipment as needed.

One of the clinical officers, Beatrice Wanjiru, employed under Universal Health Coverage (UHC) during the Corona pandemic, said that they had been forgotten.

Wanjiru pleaded with the government to review their terms of employment from contract to permanent like those of their colleagues saying they have similar work experience and working conditions.

“Our terms of employment should be changed to permanent like our colleagues because we have the same responsibilities and even experience.” Wanjiru said,

Wanjiru noted that upgrading their terms to permanent would also ensure equal pay with their colleagues and comprehensive health insurance.

The clinical officers also demanded that the government increases their risk allowance from three thousand shillings to Ksh 15,000.

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