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The Central Organization of Trade Unions, COTU (K) is disturbed by media reports that a Section of Employers in the country have already threatened to effect the new National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) from end April 2012 following a High Court ruling early in the month for the NHIF Management to increase its membership contribution to up to 600% .

This move by a Section of Employers is in total disregard of COTU (K)’s earlier communication through a paid up newspaper advertisement that the new rates have to be put on hold until the pending Appeal by COTU (K) has been heard and determined.

As earlier stated, COTU (K) will be abrogating its mandate and the trust bestowed upon it by the Kenyan workers if it consented and/or approved that the NHIF proceeds to effect such punitive rates where further there was no consultation by NHIF management with workers on the new rates and facilities that the Insurance Fund can offer for the proposed medical services to Kenyan workers. It would be incongruous and regrettable for NHIF to effect such huge deductions without having structures and facilities in place even if it is with political motive behind it.

The country’s Constitution is clear on the provision of Healthcare and freedom of choice whereupon in Chapter IV of the Bill of Rights Section 43, it is every Kenyan’s fundamental right to have an access to the highest attainable standard of health and such medical care facilities should be provided for by the government from the budgetary allocation collected from tax-payers. These freedoms and rights must be jealously guarded against any ABUSE.

It is not a responsibility and it will never be of the poorly paid and over-taxed Kenyan worker to shoulder the responsibility of funding the general provision of medical care to all Kenyans and COTU (K) is determined, and has the resolve, will

and tenacity to go at any length to stop such arbitrary one-sided deductions from the Kenyan workers’ hard-earned salaries.

COTU (K) demands that all employers throughout the country stop forthwith any such threats and/or these punitive deductions against their employees who are our members and any employer who will go against this demand should be ready to face the consequences including the disruption of the current industrial peace that the country enjoys at the employers’ peril.

Kindly be directed.

Francis Atwoli, MBS