Kenya’s Health Sector Unions Issue 7-Day Strike Notice Over Grievances » Capital News

NAIROBI, Kenya, April 2 – A coalition of health sector unions has served a seven-day strike notice, citing dissatisfaction with the government’s handling of their long-standing grievances.

The Kenya Environmental Health and Public Health Practitioners Union (KEHPHPU), Kenya National Union of Pharmaceutical Technologists (KNUPT), Kenya Union of Nutritionists and Dieticians (KUNAD), and the Kenya Health Professional Society (KHPS) have collectively expressed deep-seated frustrations with the Health Ministry.

At the core of their grievances is the Ministry’s failure to officially recognize the unions, despite fulfilling all legal requirements, a situation deemed a breach of the Labour Relations Act.

“We demand that the three unions be recognized because we have met all requirements for recognition,” stated KEHPHPU General Secretary and CEO, Brown Ashira.

The unions also highlighted discriminatory practices in intern postings and payments, alongside the non-commitment to absorb contracted staff permanently, which they argue violates the Constitution and labour laws.

“They must cease discriminatory practices and ensure interns, including those in public health, nutrition, and pharmaceuticals, are fairly paid and posted,” added Ashira.

Their collective demands to the Ministry of Health and County Governments include formal union recognition, the equitable treatment of interns, and the fair absorption of contracted staff.

The unions warned of potential industrial action if their demands are not met within the stipulated timeframe, potentially leading to a healthcare system crisis.

“If our demands are not met within seven days, we will escalate the situation in the health sector,” emphasized Ashira.

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This notice comes after directives from the Council of Governors and the Ministry of Health urging doctors to resume work or face termination.

In solidarity with the ongoing doctors’ strike, clinical officers initiated their strike on Monday, marking the 20th day of the medical crisis nationwide.

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