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January 19, 2018

Kakamega nurses threaten to strike over unpaid salaries

Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya talks to Protenciana Isiaho a patient at Iguhu County hospital on May 17,2017 when he commissioned two general wards for male and female.
Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya talks to Protenciana Isiaho a patient at Iguhu County hospital on May 17,2017 when he commissioned two general wards for male and female.

There could be another service disruption in Kakamega hospitals if nurses make good their threat to down tools over failure to honour their Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The healthcare providers said they will boycott work if the county does not pay their salaries as agreed in their return to work formula by Friday.

The Kenya National Union of Nurses secretary general Seth Panyako on Wednesday issued the strike notice to 13 counties.

The regional governments, Panyako said, have not honoured the return to work agreement signed with the Council of Governors in November last year.

He said the arrears they are demanding accumulated during the five months on which nurses were on strike last year.

Panyako said the strike will be conducted in the form of salary parades at the county offices until they are paid.

"There will be no work in the hospitals since all the nurses will be present at the various county headquarters to ask for their rights,” Panyako said.

Panyako said the nurses were ready for another strike if the counties failed to heed to their grievances.

"They better act faster and pay up," he said.

“In Murung'a, the governor is chest-thumbing. We are telling him that he can’t compete with workers.”

He asked the respective counties to dialogue with branch officials for a way forward.

"It is not possible that 34 counties honour the agreement then only 13 fail to do so," Panyako said.

Kakamega branch secretary general Renson Bulunya said the work boycott will go on as planned if the nurses were not paid.

"We will close every hospital and withdraw all nursing services until the government listens to us,” Bulunya said.

County Health executive Peninah Mukabane asked the nurses to give dialogue a chance. She said the planned strike would be illegal.

 

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