Nurses in 23 counties to strike on Monday over pay

Striking Trans Nzoia nurses demonstrate outside Kitale County Referral Hospital. /FILE
Striking Trans Nzoia nurses demonstrate outside Kitale County Referral Hospital. /FILE

Health services are likely to be disrupted in half of the counties from Monday if nurses make good their strike threat.

Kenya National Union of Nurses secretary general Seth Panyako issued the notice yesterday. He said the counties have until Sunday to pay and avert the strike.

Panyako said although the National Treasury has released funds for the 2018-19 financial year, the counties are yet to implement the return-to-work formula signed on November 2, 2017.

The union is fighting for better pay for nurses and uniform allowances, as well as other benefits.

Panyako said out of the 47 counties, only Machakos, Mombasa and Migori have fully implemented the agreement.

He blamed the SRC for not introducing the pay into the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Database, despite communication from all counties that they had factored the money into their budgets.

“The push and shove between the SRC, counties and the national government will not be allowed by our members. We find these games by SRC political gimmicks meant to sabotage the President’s Big Four agenda,” Panyako said. He said the SRC had failed and should be disbanded.

“We urge the public to transfer their patients who are in hospitals managed by the affected counties to alleviate any suffering.”

The counties to be affected are Kwale, Kirinyaga, Marsabit, Mandera, Nyandarua, Garissa, Nyeri, Kiambu, Kisumu, Kisii, Samburu, Elgeyo Marakwet, Trans Nzoia, Tharaka Nithi, West Pokot, Nairobi, Kitui, Wajir, Homa Bay, Murang’a, Taita Taveta, Embu and Tana River.

Panyako said 20 counties have promised to pay either this month or at the end of February. The union will strike on March 4 should if they fail to do so.

They are Baringo, Bomet, Bungoma, Busia, Isiolo, Kajiado, Kericho, Kilifi, Lamu, Laikipia, Meru, Nakuru, Nandi, Narok, Siaya, Makueni, Turkana, Nyamira and Uasin Gishu.

Panyako said theVihiga county strike ihas been suspended until further notice because it signed an greement with the union on Tuesday.

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