Kenya: Elgeyo Nurses Issue Strike Notice After Cut In Hardship Allowance

-Hardship allowance was cut for those on study leave

Nurses and doctors’ unions in Elgeyo Marakwet have asked the county government to reinstate hardship allowances for health workers on study leave.

Kenya National Union of Nurses and Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union said the Department of Health scrapped the allowances for 18 workers without consultations.

KNUN county secretary general Benson Biwott said services will be paralysed in all hospitals if the allowances are not paid before Monday next week.

He said the nurses, doctors, clinical officers, public health officers and laboratory technologists on study leave were given permission by the county government.

“We are giving the administration seven days to reverse the decision failure to which we shall resort to industrial action. We won’t sit back and watch as our members are discriminated against,” Biwott said.

Public Health Workers Union secretary Martis Lokalis said the move will discourage staff from seeking further studies.

“It is unfair, demeaning and frustrating to deny workers their allowances,” Lokalis said.

However, Health CEC Kiprono Chepkok said the workers do not deserve hardship allowance because they are studying in counties that are not gazetted as hardship areas.

Chepkok said it is improper for the county government to pay allowances for workers who are not in the county.

“You cease to receive hardship allowance when you move from a county gazetted as a hardship area. Some workers are now full-time students at Moi University in Uasin Gishu. They can’t enjoy allowances because the county isn’t gazetted as a hardship area,” Chepkok said.

He said the county is in the process of recovering money previously paid to the health workers on leave.

Regulations state that officers on long courses abroad will be paid a living allowance to cater for subsistence, accommodation, and excess baggage.

Government officers attending full-time courses in local institutions outside their duty stations will be eligible for living allowances.
source: Star Newspaper

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