Chairman of the judiciary staff association Sango Maewa,(2nd left) flanked by members of the association address the media outside Milimani law courts on Thursday 16 July,2015.
BY SAM ALFAN.
Judiciary staffs have threatened to go to court over the newly gazetted National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) rates.
Through Kenya Judicial Staff Association (KJSA), the staffs wants the Health Cabinet Secretary, James Macharia and NHIF Board to reconsider, consult and review the rates.
Addressing the media on Thursday at Milimani Law Courts, Kenya Judicial Staff Association Chairman, Sango Maewa said that the association already have an existing medical scheme which is working well and an opt out should have been given to them.
The rates are very high and substantially reduce the income for our members which goes beyond the two thirds deduction of salary of some members. The same deductions threaten our livelihoods as it reduce the amount we would have spent on buying other basic commodities,” he said
Maewa added that the association was not consulted before the new deductions were effected and that they would mobilize all their members to protest if the Cabinet Secretary for Health refuses to review the rates.
“The question at this juncture that we need to ask is, has NHIF ever complained of lack of funds to meets its obligation? No, it has never failed to meet its obligations. Why then is this issue being forced onto workers to an extent of reducing their meal on the table? ” he asked.
Maewa emphasized the need for inclusive dialogue on the scheme while indicating that they were not consulted on the rates.
He said the members felt choked with the new rates and if action was not taken by the relevant authorities, the union will be calling on all its members for a meeting to deliberate in the coming weeks on the next action and similarly move to court to challenge the rates.
“Our silence should not be taken to mean weakness but ant provocation will call for a bold move to ensure that the principles of participation are embraces as enshrined in the new constitution,” he said.
The Union now joins the teachers’ unions and the Trade Unions Congress of Kenya protesting against the implementation of the new rates.
According to a legal notice dated February 6, the contributions will ascend on a graduated scale that will see high income earners deductions rise by up to 400 percent.
Individuals earnings Sh 5,999 and below will contribute Sh150 while those earning Sh 100, 000 and above will pay the highest amount.