KNH workers stage protest, slam SRC over failed salary review

Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) workers on Friday morning staged a peaceful protest accusing the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) of failing to implement a proposed salary review from eight years ago.

The workers – under the umbrellas of Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU), Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) and Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotels, Educational Institutions, Hospitals and Allied workers (KUDHEIHA) – converged outside the facility around 9am where they began their go-slow.

The hospital staff, in a letter to the Regional Police Commander seen by Citizen Digital, said they will end the procession at the SRC offices at Williamson House in Community at around 1pm.

“The services in the hospital (KNH) shall not be affected and the employees participating in the picketing will adhere to the COVID-19 regulations,” read the letter.

In 2012 the state corporation advisory committee evaluated all parastatals in the country including referral hospitals such as KNH which they upgraded from level 3B to 7A, consequently elevating all the 7000 employees to a different salary scale.

In 2019, the hospital’s management board approached Treasury seeking funds to implement the new salary figures for the health workers. Treasury set aside Ksh.2.4 billion and handed over Ksh.601 million to KNH early this year.

In the re-categorization process, salary scales for all job categories were factored in and improved, for instance those in job group K1 earning slightly over Ksh.191,000 would now earn a minimum of Ksh.318,566.

Those in job group K3 earning slightly above Ksh.141,000 would now earn a minimum of Ksh.211,793 while those in job group K13 earning Ksh.23,810 were now entitled to a minimum salary of Ksh.27,509.

The SRC has however since put breaks on the implementation process saying the re-categorization was only meant to move the hospital to a higher category but did not involve any salary review.

In a letter dated September 2, 2020, which was received on September 16 by KNH, the commission informed Dr. Evanson Kamuri, the hospital’s CEO, to halt the salary review process saying that only SRC is mandated to review salaries for public officers.

The workers are now demanding that the hospital implements the salary review for all employees working in the facility as approved by the state advisory committee through a letter dated September 13, 2012, failure to which they will completely down their tools on Monday.

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