Nurses have downed their tools in some parts of the country to protest what they say is a breach of a collective bargaining agreement they signed with the government.
The Kenya National Union of Nurses (Knun) through its acting secretary general, Maurice Opetu, on Sunday directed all its 45,000 members to strike starting Monday morning until the CBA is signed and implemented.
“Between now and Monday, if the deal is not signed, the nurses are not going to report on duty on June 5. We are going to down our tools at midnight on Sunday,” said Opetu.
Following the directive, services have stalled in Kakamega and Vihiga counties as the health workers kept off work.
In Vihiga, all nursing services were paralysed as the caregivers met at Vihiga County Referral Hospital in Mbale and officially jump-started their strike.
Patients were stranded at various health facilities, with many being caught unawares by the industrial action.
Governors on Sunday accused the salaries commission of delaying the signing of a collective bargaining agreement.
Council of Governors chief executive Jacqueline Omogeni however, asked the nurses to give the Salaries Remuneration Commission more time to approve the CBA.
“The Council reiterates that it is committed to the conclusion of this process in a manner that is legal, acceptable and registrable. There is no point in any side of the negotiating teams putting pressure on other partners. The negotiating team is awaiting just for a no-objection and then the process of signing will start” she said.
The strike is said to not have taken off in Nyeri and Mombasa counties.
The council and the commission held a meeting on May 26 in which they agreed to upgrade the pay for nurses and to have governors adopt the agreement by June 2.