Nurses strike over pay, but county says issue resolved

Nurses in public hospitals are on a go slow over delayed payment. The more than 500 health workers say they have not been paid for the past two months. 

Kenya National Union of Nurses Siaya branch Secretary General Sylvester Nganda said the county government had only given notice that June salaries would delay.

“We have not received any official communication from the county government over the delay in payment. The last of communication sent to us by the human resource officials was for the delay on June salaries,” he said.

Mr Nganda said no nurse would be allowed to work without the pay.

He said nurses were committed to service delivery, but their employer treated them unfairly.

“How do they expect us to feed and pay bills? Our children resumed school the other day and we are yet to pay any fees," Nganda said. "How can a nurse work faithfully and serve the people with a lot of burden brought by bills and debts? We are ready for any eventuality, nobody resumes duty if we are not paid,” he added.

The nurses, who issued a strike notice on August 29, said the county government owed them Sh180 million accrued since June.

Health Executive Dorothy Owino said the nurses had not been paid, but pleaded with them to continue working.

Ms Owino urged the nurses to be patient since the late payment issue was not unique to Siaya.

She, however, noted that the finance department had since Wednesday been trying to resolve the issue. Owino said no county employee had been paid since June due to delayed approval of the county budget.

"I can confirm that the nurses will receive their pay by today (yesterday). There is no go slow as being alleged by the union because all nurses came to work," she added.