Song and Dance as 187 Healthcare Workers Confirmed From Contract to Permanent and Pensionable Terms
Nakuru County Governor H E Susan Kihika today delivered on her campaign pledge of confirming health workers hired on contracts to permanent and pensionable terms.
Stating that she had begun with the 2016 cohort of health workers, Governor Kihika committed to the further confirmation of more health workers, especially the 2018 and 2020 cohorts. She was categorical that her administration had begun tackling the backlog of contracted staff and those who had stagnated in one position for long.
“We are gathered here today to witness the fulfilment of the pledge I gave during the campaigns. I know most people, especially you took this as just another political promise that will evaporate once I get into office. But here we are. Aren’t we witnessing the confirmation from contracted staff to permanent and pensionable terms or not? We have it,” she said on the grounds at the ATC Soilo, Nakuru City.
Tears of joy, excitement and ululation swept through the hundreds of health workers, including doctors, clinical officers, nurses, pharmacists, nutritionists, dietetics and medical laboratory technicians, as they received their letters from the Nakuru County Public Service Board chairman, Mr Charles Mwai. A total of 187 health workers were handed letters of confirmation during the event.
Dr Asava Patrick, a family doctor at Naivasha Sub-county Hospital in Naivasha Town said: “Today feels like Christmas to me. It has been eight long years. I am 40 years old now and they say that life begins at 40. My life has begun today. During the campaigns, in your manifesto, you promised to confirm the contracted staff to permanent terms. Today it has happened. We have been restless, uneasy and anxious but now we are already thinking of taking loans and mortgages,” he said.
An ambulance driver from Naivasha said he was going to rebuild his life, remarry and bring up children in the safety of his new status as a permanent and pensionable employee of the Nakuru County Government. “If you (Governor) were in our hearts, you could know what we are feeling. I remember telling you in Naivasha (last December) that my wife had left me because of my financial situation. But now I will get another one hoping that God blesses me with children. We are so happy,” he said.
Governor Kihika said she was confronted by the enormity of staff malaise composed of shortages, stagnation in one position, rolling over of contracts and low morale when she took office last year. She chose to form a task force comprising the Nakuru County Public Service Board; the Department of Public Service Devolution, Citizen Engagement, Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance; and the Department of Finance and Economic Planning to study the historical nature of contractual and casual staff and propose solutions thereof in promoting good governance in public service.
“Today, I am happy to announce that based on the recommendations of the task force, my government through continuous engagement with the County Public Service Board, has been able to reduce the backlog by promoting 1,247 officers across all county departments and appointing136 officers in the 2016 cohort in the health sector from contract to permanent and pensionable terms,” she said.
Another batch of 51 officers from the 2020 cohort in the health sector who were engaged on Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) contract terms were also handed permanent and pensionable terms. Governor Kihika urged the beneficiaries of the new terms to be disciplined, professional and committed to their work. Hitting at people who have been walking to hospitals to attack staff on flimsy excuses, Governor Kihika vowed to protect the health workers telling those bent on extending politics to the county hospitals to stop.