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Kiambu County moves to replace striking nurses

By Kamau Maichuhie | Published Thu, September 14th 2017 at 00:06, Updated September 14th 2017 at 00:09 GMT +3
Striking nurses chant union songs at the Nakuru Level 5 Hospital on August 31, 2017 where they asked newly elected governors to ensure that a negotiated CBA was signed and implemented. Photo/Suleiman Mbatiah/Standard

IN SUMMARY

  • Kiambu County says decision meant to ensure residents get quality healthcare
  • More than 25,000 nurses countrywide have been on strike for the past 95 days

The county government has advertised for nurses to replace those who are on strike.

In an advert placed in one of the local dailies on Wednesday, the county public service board advertised for the positions of 217 nurses.

"Kiambu County Public Service Board wishes to recruit competent and qualified persons to fill the positions of nursing officer in the department of health services," reads the advert.

More than 25,000 nurses in the country have been on strike for the past 95 days to demand the implementation of a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) signed with the Council of Governors (COG) in March this year.

Through the CBA, the nurses have been pressing for higher pay and better working conditions.

The acting county health chief officer, Dr Andrew Toro, said the county had initiated the process to sack the striking nurses.

"Yes, it is true we have initiated the process to replace the striking 217 nurses. I am appealing to residents who qualify for the job to apply. We want to make the replacements immediately," said Dr Toro.

Last week, governors ordered striking nurses to resume work by September 8 or risk being sacked.

They said counties would not hesitate to hire new personnel on contract basis if the current group defies the directive.

The Council of Governors further directed that striking nurses not be paid for the time they have been on strike.

Last month, Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu said his administration would hire new nurses on temporary terms to alleviate the suffering of residents who cannot afford treatment in private and mission hospitals.

Mr Waititu said this would happen as his administration continued to negotiate with the striking nurses.

Speaking when he visited Kiambu Level 4 Hospital, Waititu said he would meet with all the county's leaders to discuss the matter and find solutions to the problems facing the health sector.

The governor urged the nurses to resume duty as negotiations continue, saying his administration needed time to settle in office.

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