Over 300 nurses at the AIC Kijabe Mission Hospital have downed their tools, demanding an 36.7 per cent pay rise.
The caregivers, who are members of the Kenya National Union of Nurses, also alleged mistreatment by the hospital management.
They marched to Lari subcounty headquarters demanding a permit to hold a peaceful protest because the hospital management had obtained a court blocking the demos.
KNUN Kijabe branch secretary general Richard Kamau said they would not relent on their demands, since they have the blessings of the national office.
He said they are only paid Sh18,000 and a house allowance of Sh 4,176 per month.
“We have been discussing this issue with the hospital management for one year now and we gave reasons why we need a pay rise. Efforts by our union head office to intervene have not borne any fruits,” he said.
“It is high time we in mission and private hospitals wake up and fight for our rights. We are called to serve the patients, but let them understand we are not missionaries,” Kamau said.
A KNUN official at the hospital Elector Juma said nurses are also intimidated by the hospital management, at their personal space in their squatters interfered with.
“We want to be respected. We are professionals and whatever we have asked from the management is not just for the sake of it,” she said.
However, area deputy county commissioner Aaron Koros urged them to honor the court order and return to their work stations. He told them use the right channels in demanding for the increment.
“We have advised them to respect the court order and return to work peacefully. There are other ways they can deal with this matter,” he said.
Kamau, however, said thy had taken the necessary measure to prevent loss of lives at the facility. He said they had ensured those in the high dependency unit, intensive care unit, nursery, maternity and at the emergency ward were all taken care of.
“We don’t take chances with our patient’s lives. We had agreed that HDU, ICU, maternity, nursery, the emergency ward and all the the critical areas are working normally,” he said.
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