RE: AVIATION WORKERS’ POSITION ON THE NEW NHIF DUES
The Aviation and Allied Workers’ Union of Kenya, (AAWU) has keenly followed the recent developments in which the National Hospital Insurance Fund, NHIF, won a court against the Central Organization of Trade Unions, COTU (K) whereupon the later had sought to block the former from implementing the new membership contributions ranging from Kshs.150 to Kshs. 2000.
However, after careful study of the new rates per contributing member and the reasons by the NHIF management to seek these funds, the AAWU has since made a decision that is will not honour the directive so ordered and has directed all employers under it including the Kenya Airways, Kenya Airports Authority, Civic Aviation Authority, SDV Transami among other not to make any deductions to our members’ hard earned wages to NHIF over and above the normal contributions and any employer who goes against the position taken by the Union to effect these new rates will face the wrath of our members. NHIF has no capacity to manage such huge funds from workers nor do workers have confidence that they will receive any better services from a fund that has never shown any interest is so doing throughout its existence. We need a total overhaul of the Fund before any such move.
As a country we will be setting a dangerous precedence where individuals and institutions wake up one day to demand a worker pays for this and that simply because we remain the most vulnerable as such deductions are made at source and a worker has no means to determine how ‘his payslip should be shared out’ in the name of funding universal health care for all Kenyans.
We are putting employers in the Aviation industry on notice that any such attempts will be met with equal force and before such a crave matter is agreed upon, the parties concerned particularly the workers who will be the sole financiers should be consulted through the umbrella body COTU (K) so as a joint meeting is held and the resolutions on such a decision are send out to members to interrogate and debate on the possible pros and cons and not to tell a worker that here is the order, pay me Kshs. 2000! This is the impunity we have all be fighting for the last close to two decades and the NHIF management is treading on dangerous grounds to impose such rates on workers.
Kenyan workers continue to suffer under the heavy burden of growing inflation coupled with high interest rates and skyrocketing cost of living and instead of the government seeking to cushion
them against these harsh realities is letting the NHIF management to raid their payslips! We continue to receive the poorest of the services from the NHIF as currently constituted and it hypocritical for a Fund unable to offer workers quality services against the deductions made to now demand for higher contributions! We are not going to part with even a cent in addition to what we are paying now.
AAWU as an affiliate union to the Central Organization of Trade Unions, COTU (K), want to declare full support to COTU (K) on this matter to ensure that the welfare of a common Kenyan worker is respected and not trampled upon with impunity as the NHIF management wishes to.
Bonne Nicholas Barasa