Health services in Kenya’s public health facilities remain paralyzed that is now entering into its 100th day due to the ongoing nurse strike.
The nurses have paralyzed health services demanding the full implementation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).
26,000-member union has issued a peaceful demonstration notice beginning Monday ‘until the solutions to the CBA dispute is found or the strike is called of’ according to Seth Panyako, Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN).
According to the CBA, the union wants the least pay for a nurse to be KSh52, 000, up from KSh38,000 while the highest paid will receive KSh130,000 from KSh70, 000.
In contrast, the union’s National Chairman of the union John Bii however, has been reported to state that the strike is illegal citing that the nurses have to go back to the negotiating table before eventually signing the CBA.
“It is not in dispute that nurses in the public sector were awarded nursing service allowance of KSh20,000 last year during the negotiated return-to-work formula, which was paid in January and February in most counties and national facilities. This was, however, stopped after the nurses, through the Secretary-General demanded health service allowance, which was the preserve of other health care cadres.”
Further, the Council of Governors has termed the ongoing nurses’ strike illegal as the right procedure was not followed for industrial action as stipulated in law.
According to the Council of Governors, the financial implications of the current draft CBA stands at KSh40 billion over a period of four years which translates to KSh10 billion annually which they term as unsustainable.
In the current financial year, the County Governments have made increments of KSh3.4 billion to nurses to be paid every financial year.
As a result, both governments, national and county have urged them to take the offer and resume work to avoid disciplinary action.
President Uhuru Kenyatta during the launch of a cancer treatment center at the Kenyatta National Hospital asked the nurses to go to work. “He said public servants should know that they work for the public and should not disrupt services that benefit citizens,” according to the PSCU statement.
Besides, nurses have remained steadfast. All they seek is better public health care for the public.
The Kenya National Union of Nurses called the strike on June 5 and efforts by the Council of Governors and the government to resolve the impasse have hit a dead end.
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