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Clinical officers end 3-month strike after sealing deal with government

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Through the Kenya Union of Clinical Officers (KUCO), the medics said that after talks with the Council of Governors (CoG), they agreed to sign a return-to-work formula.

After three months of industrial action, clinical officers have finally called off their strike after crafting a deal with governors.

Through the Kenya Union of Clinical Officers (KUCO), the medics said that after talks with the Council of Governors (CoG), they agreed to sign a return-to-work formula.

KUCO Secretary General George Gibore asked their members countrywide to resume duty after making agreements with county chiefs, who have been pleading with them to end the strike.

"We began our strike on April 1, after a seven-day notice, which was issued on March 25, and we have been on strike until today. By signing this return-to-work formula, we are officially declaring that our strike has come to an end and our members shall resume duty in their respective places of work, starting today, and not later than 24 hours from the date herein," Gibore said.

Last month, the clinicians maintained that their strike would go on until all the issues they had raised were addressed.

The medics downed their tools on April 1 over several grievances. On May 9, the Employment and Labour Relations Court ordered the employers to enter into a return-to-work agreement and register the same in court on June 25.

The governors and national government's position has been that they lack the resources to implement some of their demands, such as the employment of more healthcare workers and promotions.

According to the clinicians, the devolved units and President William Ruto's government should issue confirmation letters on permanent and pensionable terms to staff hired during the COVID-19 period.

They also wanted the national government and counties to recruit more than 20,000 unemployed and qualified clinical officers to cover the existing shortage.

The union also demanded that the government provide comprehensive medical cover for all actively serving clinical officers in the public sector so they can access services wherever they need them.

"The issue has been implementation and prioritisation; that there are no resources even to put the healthcare workers in a comprehensive medical cover that can guarantee them the medical services that they offer and that is the reason why we are still on strike at this time," Gibore said.

In the agreement document signed between clinicians and the county chiefs, seen by The Eastleigh Voice, the clinicians shall commence negotiating a collective bargaining agreement forthwith and conclude the agreement within 60 days from the date of its execution.

"The proposed Risk Allowance shall be negotiated and paid upon approval by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission," notes the signed document.

On medical insurance, the agreement indicates that devolved units that have not provided medical cover to the clinical officers should begin and conclude the process, in accordance with the prevailing Public Service Policies and guidelines, by September this year.

"There will be no victimisation of any clinical officers for having participated in the strike ensuing pursuant to the strike notice dated March 25, 2024. In that regard, all disciplinary proceedings commenced or continued as flowing from the said strike notice and subsequent events related to the strike are avoided."

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