90 names struck off payroll, protest Tharaka Nithi nurses

Kenya National Union of Nurses Tharaka Nithi executive secretary Kennedy Micheni leads nurses to walk out of Chuka Hospital in February 2016/ DENNIS DIBONDO
Kenya National Union of Nurses Tharaka Nithi executive secretary Kennedy Micheni leads nurses to walk out of Chuka Hospital in February 2016/ DENNIS DIBONDO

Nurses in Tharaka Nithi have issued a seven-day strike notice to the county government.

They want their grievances addressed or they will down their tools.

Speaking to the Star on the phone yesterday, Kenya National Union of Nurses Tharaka Nithi chairman Fabiano Marigu said if the county refuses to negotiate, they will boycott work on October 24.

“We want a roundtable meeting with the county to solve our grievances once and for all,” he said.

Marigu said 90 workers’ names have been struck off the payroll.

“They have not remitted our statutory deductions. Members’ National Hospital Insurance Fund premiums have not been remitted,” he said.

But Health chief officer Walter Mugambi said he is yet to receive the strike notice.

“I will communicate on the issue when I get the notice. I am yet to get the information,” he said.

Mugambi said all allowances have been paid and promised to follow up on the matter.

“I will follow up with the Finance department to make sure all is well, but I am aware they have been paid all their dues,” he said.

The nurses have gone on strike more than 10 times since Health was devolved.

Legislators have previously accused Governor Samuel Ragwa of failing to appropriately handle the Health docket.

Chuka Igambang’ombe MP Muthomi Njuki said the docket should be reverted to the national government since the counties have failed.

However, Tharaka Nithi Deputy Governor Eliud Mureithi recently blamed political leaders for the nurses’ strikes. Last month, the county government criticised KNUN officials for calling for a strike following a delay in August salaries. Ragwa said the salaries were paid as from Friday last week.