Nairobi News

Hustle

City Hall staff face more pain without medical cover


City Hall workers face a third month without a medical cover even after they called off their strike for improved pay last week to pave the way for negotiations.

The county government failed to hire an insurer after a Sh1.06 billion-a-year contract with AAR ended on December 31.

County workers interviewed by the Business Daily said they had been denied services at city hospitals because their cover was no longer valid.

AAR chief operations officer Mercy Ndegwa had last month said the firm bid for a new contract and is still awaiting City Hall to complete the procurement process.

“AAR is not currently providing services until the procurement process is completed,” the firm said in a statement yesterday.

This comes as another blow to workers after the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) last week shrugged off their push for increased pay.

DOMINO EFFECT

While the workers called off their strike to pave way the way for further negotiations, the SRC has warned that a domino effect resulting from acceding to the workers demand would cost the county additional Sh23.5bn

County secretary for Nairobi Pauline Kahiga who had last month said the cover for all workers was valid did not respond to calls and text messages on the matter by the time of publishing this article.

The absence of a valid medical cover imply that the close to 12,000 workers will remain exposed until the lengthy procurement process is concluded. Nairobi has in the past grappled with corruption allegations in the awarding of the multimillion shilling medical cover contract.

City Hall was last year locked in a court suit amid accusations of favouring AAR, which has been the provider of medical insurance since 2015.

A section of MCAs accused the county government of cancelling an earlier tender awarded to Britam on technical hitches.