Nurses have called off their nationwide strike that kicked off on February 4 in 11 counties that did not implement the caregivers’ return-to-work formula that saw the last strike suspended.
According to the Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) secretary general, Seth Panyako the strike is officially called off.
He was appearing before Justice Nelson Abuodha on Tuesday to show cause why he should not be held in contempt for disobeying orders stopping the strike.
Addressing the media outside the courtroom, Panyako noted that he did not in particular call off the strike.
The court did however discharge all KNUN officials from the contempt.
Samburu county nurses earlier on in the day called off the strike after striking a deal with the county government.
“We have discussed and agreed with our county government that they will promote us and the nurses’ allowances will be handled by a Nairobi negotiating team,” KNUN Samburu branch Secretary Halima Leturwai said.
On the other hand, those working in Nakuru and Busia counties have suspended their strike to give dialogue a chance.
Nakuru nurses have called off the strike for 60 days following consultations with KNUN officials.
President Uhuru Kenyatta had on February 13 ordered the nurses return to work failure to which they risked losing their jobs.
“One of the most important principles upon which our republic is established is the rule of law – no one is above the law. Obeying court orders is not optional but a requirement to all of us,” Kenyatta said while directing nurses to resume duty by 8 am on Friday.
The nurses did however stay put and defied the president’s orders which Cabinet secretary for labour Ukur Yatani said, meant that they were in contempt of court.
“The nurses are in contempt of court order issued on 5 February which ordered the union bosses to end the hostility in the strike and return to work,” said Yatani.