Over 180 Nakuru County Nurses are an unhappy lot. For the past three months, the nurses who were employed on a contract basis in 2016 have not received their pay.
“We can’t pay rent. Our children have been sent away from school, we can’t afford to feed our families or even pay household bills,” says George Maina a nurse at Nakuru level five hospital.
To make matters worse, although they offer medical services to the general public, they cannot access the same services. This is due to the fact that the employer has not been remitting money to the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) although deductions are always made.
“Although all the statutory deductions are done from our salary, the same are not remitted and we wonder what happens to the monies,” says Virginia King’ori a nurse at Provincial General Hospital, Nakuru. The nurses made the revelations when presenting their grievances to the office of the Nakuru County Senator, Susan Kihika on Monday morning.
A statement made available to the press by one of the nurses shows that the last remittance to NSSF was done in March 2017.
“The same applies to NHIF and KRA. Where does this money go?” asks Virginia.
Since 2016, the nurses have been renewing their contracts every six months. However, the Nakuru County government recently engaged a new lot of nurses who will be receiving more than twice what the current lot is earning.
“We were asked not to apply for these jobs although we were all qualified. We even have experience at our workstations making us the most qualified. However, when we asked our bosses, we were advised not to apply,” says an aggrieved nurse.
SENATOR KIHIKA THE ONLY HOPE FOR NAKURU COUNTY NURSES
The nurses say for months now, they have been seeking to have their grievances addressed without success.
“We have been to all offices without success. Today, we have come to bring our grievances to the office of Senator Susan Kihika who is our only hope now,” said one of their officials on Monday as they thronged the office of Senator Susan Kihika bringing their grievances.
Perpetual contracts, a county policy that states they cannot be employed on a permanent basis, delayed pay, poor communication and delayed contract renewals were some of the grievances they want to be addressed.
Addressing the nurses, Elburgon ward MCA Njuguna Mwaura who is also the chairman of the County Assembly Health committee says he will have the issues sorted in two weeks.
“I request that you all return to work and assure you that in two weeks, all your grievances will be looked into. All your pending payments will be paid within a week,” assured the MCA.
The Nakuru County Nurses, however, were having none of it and vowed to stay put until they get a better package.