Business came to a standstill at Baringo County Headquarters, Kabarnet after health workers took to the streets demanding for immediate promotion
Led by National Union of Nurses Secretary Baringo branch Mr. Francis Koros, the more than 150 members across all the departments vowed to carry on with the strike for as long as it will take the county government to meet their demands.
The demonstrators marched to the governors offices carrying twigs and placards chanting ‘yote yawezekana bila governor Cheboi.’
They blamed the county administration of playing delaying tactics by always shifting goalposts on the promotion issue.
“The county Government had promised to effect our promotions by November 2015 but now they have introduced another hurdle saying they have to do vetting as if we are new staff,” Complained Koros.
According to another health worker who sought anonymity for fear of victimization, some workers have stagnated in one job group for close to ten years yet those in the common cadre job groups are supposed to be promoted after every three years,
“We have been working for more than five years and since county government took over health services none of us has been promoted. Some who were handed promotion letters by the national government before devolution had their promotions cancelled without any valid reason”, said the health worker.
The county government remained mum on the issue even as patients suffered in the facilities across the county as the governor was said to be out of office attending to other matters.
At the Baringo referral hospital patients referred from as far as Chemolingot in Baringo East for specialised services were stranded with some in critical condition as the hospital gates remained locked.
The County Director of Medical services could also not be reached for comment as his mobile number was off up to the time of going to press.
The workers also demanded the administration to immediately change the terms of the employees hired recently from contract to permanent and pensionable terms.
They said other counties had already done promotions and they were wondering why Baringo was lagging behind yet money for the same had been increased in 2015/2016’s allocations to county governments.
By Peter Kirionki/Christopher Kiprop