Kenyan nurses are set to down tools in six weeks time over an unmet Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), the Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) has said.
This was announced by KNUN Secretary General Seth Panyako who said that the strike will begin on February 4, 2019, if the deal, signed on November 2, is not fully implemented.
This follows another strike notice issued on November 16 accusing the government of failing to implement their return-to-work formula.
The return-to-work formula, which was part of the 2017 CBA, was supposed to take effect as from July 1, 2018, but the government failed to honour its part.
“Nurses are highly skilled people who deal with lives of human beings. The SRC must move with speed and revise their job evaluation structure. We want to state clearly to the public that the return to work formula has not been met and we will not lie low,” said Panyako in November.
The nurses resorted to strike in November after the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) cancelled a meeting with the union to discuss the way forward for the implementation of November 2, 2017 return to work formula signed between the national, county governments and KNUN. However, the 21-day strike notice was cancelled to give room for negotiations.
The nurses are demanding an annual increase of Ksh5,000 on uniform allowance and Ksh3,000 increase on nursing allowance in the first year and Ksh3,500 in the two subsequent years as per the CBA agreement.
In October, Panyako and other officials were arrested by the police for allegedly inciting nurses at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) to strike.
The arrest was instigated by KNH security boss Manase Mukhwana who termed Panyako as an outsider meddling with KNH affairs, illegally.
“Panyako has no permit to incite nurses to strike. He is an outsider, hence, cannot come here to cause disruption at the hospital when nurses are at work,” Mukhwana said.
The nurses have been decrying KNH management’s decision to bar them from joining a workers’ union.
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