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Kenyan health care workers strike

19 December 2013
Health care workers in Kenya went on strike on 10th December in protest of the government’s decision to devolve funding responsibility for health care services from national to county government hands.

The unions charge that the government has breached the collective bargaining agreement regarding devolution, passing the health care workers’ payroll onto county governments without first creating the legal framework necessary for the devolution of health. Health care funding across the nation has been cut from a recommended 15% of government budget to just 2.7% which will result in a projected expenditure of only 24-50 Kenya shillings (approx. 0.2-0.4€) per person per year.

With the devolution of health care services, many health care workers are likely to suffer major cuts – up to 40% – in pay.

Health care workers are calling for the enactment of a health policy, as provided for the Constitution. The Central Organization of Trade Unions has also backed the health workers’ demands to remain under the jurisdiction of the national government.

The unions are ready to continue with negotiations with the government in a bid to resolve the contentious issues around devolving health services. However, the government is moving to try to fire workers who are exercising their right to strike.

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