Kitui nurses resume work after court suspends strike

Nurses in Kitui on Monday when they went on paralyzing service in all the health facilities in Kitui county. They have since returned to work following a court order suspending the strike. Photo by Musembi Nzengu
Nurses in Kitui on Monday when they went on paralyzing service in all the health facilities in Kitui county. They have since returned to work following a court order suspending the strike. Photo by Musembi Nzengu

Kitui nurses resumed work yesterday following Tuesday’s suspension of a strike called by their union.

The Employment and Labour Relations Court in Nairobi suspected the strike that started on Monday and ordered the medics to return to work.

“Since we are law abiding citizens, we asked all our 780 members to return to work,” Kenya National Union of Nurses secretary for Kitui branch Newton Kimanzi said.

He said they will be waiting for the hearing and determination of a case by the county government and Kitui Public Service Board in which the union is sued. The county got orders on Monday suspending the nurses strike in Kitui.

The order scheduled inter-party hearings for today. The order prohibited the nurses from participating in the strike called by their union.

The court directed the parties to consult and find a solution to the matter even as the hearing takes place.

On Tuesday, the nurses ruled out talks with the Ministry of Labour, saying CS Ukur Yatani ought to have called for negotiations before the strike started.

“As a union, we’re not going to engage in further talks on issues touching on nursing service allowance and uniform allowance,” Kenya National Union of Nurses secretary general Seth Panyako said.

He spoke at a press conference in Nairobi. Panyako said negotiation is done at national level and implementation by specific employers (counties). The nurses are on strike in West Pokot, Kisumu, Nairobi, Kisii, Taita Taveta, Trans Nzoia, Nyandarua, Nyeri, Wajir and Elgeyo Marakwet.