SRC approval of MCAs car grants rattles healthcare unions - Beaking Kenya News

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Friday, 12 February 2021

SRC approval of MCAs car grants rattles healthcare unions

 

Healthcare unions have hit back at the Salaries and Remuneration Commission after the approval of the Sh4.5 billion MCAs car grants on Tuesday.

The SRC agreed to convert the car loan facility to a car grant, which it said will come at no extra expense from the Sh4.5 billion allocated.

The benefit is only applicable to current speakers and MCAs.

Healthcare workers who have been on strike since December 7, 2020 have now accused the government of having priorities upside down.

The nurses and clinicians entered into an agreement in December but the CoG refused to sign the document, citing monetary implication, with the SCR on the other hand maintain that any allowance can only be paid with its approval and the allowances captured in CBA can only be reviewed after the CBA’s lapse.

The nurses now say SRC as body charged with responsibility of ensuring equity, fairness and parity in public remuneration has failed to perform their duties almost eight years down their line.

“What it has done is to cause more havoc, more disparity in the public sector as opposes to bringing parity. While I may not have an issue with the BBI I believe that MCAs should vote objectively and not because they have been enticed or bribed,” KNUN SG Seth Panyako said.

He added: “The commissioners are political appointees and that is why they fear politicians because they know that politician have the power to even later the constitution to remove them so they are only protecting their job. They believe that nurses have no political clout.”

The SRC chairperson Lynn Mengich, has however maintained that it was a request from the Council of Governors and as a commission they had had to take it through a process to confirm adherence to the constitutional principles.

“It is a coincidence in terms of the timing but I want to say as a commission we have an obligation to review request from all stakeholders,” Mengich said.

 “This came with a confirmation that by converting this car loan to a car grant there will be no additional funding required that indeed it will be within the budget for the current financial year,” she added.

On their part, clinical officers union has expressed dissatisfaction with the commission, blaming the body of selectively enhancing allowances for some cadres in 2017 and living out clinical officers.

KUCO SG George Gibore said that in the latest advisory to the CoG on January 2021, the commission ignored their core mandate of ensuring equity and fairness.

“It is ironical that while the SRC cited lack of funds to deny clinical officers their right to equity and fairness, in less than three weeks, they have agreed to car grants for MCAs,” Gibore said.

Gibore said that the harmonization of clinicians’ health risk allowance will cost the exchequer Sh900 million per year adding that the commission has been applying different standards between healthcare workers and MCAs in the context of article 27 of the constitution.

“The Sh4.5 billion okayed by SRC for car grants would be enough to pay the harmonised allowance for a period of five years. We call upon the SRC to end the discrimination and approve the health risk allowance for clinicians to address the historical injustices.”

The nurses, clinicians and lab technologists have been on strike to demand for risk allowance, comprehensive medical cover and quality PPEs for the frontline workers.

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