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Nurses put counties, Ministry on notice over delayed pay agreement

By Graham Kajilwa and Mercy Kahenda | Published Fri, January 5th 2018 at 00:00, Updated January 5th 2018 at 11:29 GMT +3
Nurses protest outside Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui's office yesterday. The Kenya National Union of Nurses issued a one-week strike notice demanding three months' salary. [Joseph Kipsang| Standard]

The nurses’ union has renewed its fight for salaries following the national government’s failure to implement a collective bargaining agreement.

Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) has also given 13 county governments an ultimatum, saying that by the close of business yesterday, they should have paid their nurses or at least shown how salaries for the five months they were on strike last year would be deposited in their accounts.

The union said failure to honour the demands would result in salary parades outside governors’ offices by nurses in those counties starting January 11 until they were paid in full.

“That is not a strike. We will just be demanding our pay, which is rightfully ours. A work boycott will happen when I say so,” said KNUN Secretary General Seth Panyako yesterday.

Counties that have not paid their nurses are Kakamega, Kericho, Makueni, Kirinyaga, Wajir, Murang’a and Laikipia.

Others are Bungoma, Nakuru, Nyeri, Homa Bay, Elgeyo Marakwet and Tharaka Nithi.

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More time

A letter from Council of Governors CEO Jaqueline Mogeni addressed to the KNUN and dated December 19, 2017, claimed that more time was needed before the money could be paid.

Meanwhile, a strike is looming in Nakuru after the county government failed to remit three months’ salary arrears for nurses.

The nurses yesterday gave the county government one week to pay salaries for August, September and October 2017, failing which they would go on strike.

No response

A union official wrote two letters to the county government demanding payment, the latest on December 5. But by the time of going to press, there was no response.

“The county has not responded to our demand to have all our salaries paid,” said Nakuru branch secretary general Syprene Odera.

Health Executive Johana Mwangi said the county was willing to negotiate a solution for smooth operations in the sector.

“We want this matter solved amicably in the shortest time,” said Dr Mwangi.