Police have tear-gassed Kenyatta National Hospital staff who staged a go-slow on Monday morning over non-payment of their health service allowances.
The workers allied to Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotels, Educational Institutions, Hospitals and Allied Workers (Kudheiha) had threatened to go on strike in the first week of August over the allowances that date back to 2015.
They had written to the hospital’s chief executive, informing the management of the industrial action.
Through their union, the 4,700 workers claim they are yet to be paid their allowances as recommended by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission.
So far, the clash and go-slow have not affected service delivery at the national referral hospital.
A meeting slated for July 12, where the matter was to be discussed to avert the strike, was cancelled at the eleventh hour.
Following the cancellation, the Union wrote a letter to KNH’s administration accusing the management of not providing an alternative date to settle the dispute.
While issuing the strike notice last month, Kudheiha Secretary General Albert Njeru said the hospital’s management had demanded afresh for items in dispute despite having knowledge of the issues.
In 2005, SRC recommended a health service allowance before issuing a second circular, which excluded some workers.
“Employees in the support department in the health sub-sectors do not qualify to be paid workers service allowance,” a circular from the SRC reads.
KNH sought funds to implement the allowances that were to be paid in two phases of 60 and 40 per cent in January and July last year.