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Striking nurses press for CBA signing as they vow to fight on

 Kenya National Union of Nurses members from Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital demonstrate along Uganda Road in Eldoret. They were protesting over delayed implementation of a 2013 collective bargaining agreement. [Peter Ochieng, Standard]

Striking nurses yesterday presented their petition to various Government offices, stating that they would not relent in their push for higher pay.

The Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) members first presented their petition to the Office of the President and the Ministry of Interior.

According to KNUN Deputy Secretary General Maurice Opetu, the petition included a chronology of negotiations between the Government and the nurses that had led to a collective bargaining agreement.

They later moved to the Ministry of Health where they presented the principal secretary with the petition before ending their procession at the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) offices.

Mr Opetu maintained that his 26,000-member union would fight on until their CBA was implemented, adding that they planned to stage weekly protests.

“We have negotiated and agreed on a collective bargaining agreement for the nurses but the Government is not ready to sign it,” he said.

And KNUN members in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County, yesterday cautioned SRC against hindering their push to have the CBA signed. The nurses drawn from Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital took to Eldoret streets for the better part of the day. They vowed to continue their clamour for better working conditions.

Led by branch chairperson Kennedy Orangi, the nurses claimed the recent job evaluation by SRC was a sham and an attempt to under-place staff members from their initial job groups.

Reduce salaries

“The report not only undermines the institution but is also a plot to reduce staff salaries,” said Mr Orangi.

The union branch secretary, Daniel Osoro, said SRC was overstepping its core mandate of providing advice and had opted to frustrate nurses instead. According to Mr Osoro, the agreement contained monetary and direct progression terms that, if implemented, would see nurses enjoy favourable working conditions.

The union wants the least pay for a nurse to be Sh52, 000, up from Sh38,000 while the highest paid will receive Sh130,000 from Sh70, 000.

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