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Pay up or face our strike, say nurses

Health & Science
 Nurses protesting outside Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui's office. [Kipsang Joseph/Standard]

Nurses have threatened to go on strike if the county government fails to pay their July salaries today as promised.

The nurses said the government had promised to pay them last Wednesday but failed to do so.

The area Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) chairman, Bernard Njoroge, said officials met Governor Lee Kinyanjui last week and he promised that the medics would be paid today.

Mr Njoroge said the nurses would take action, including downing their tools, if Mr Kinyanjui failed to honour the promise.

Health workers at the Rift Valley Provincial General Hospital, who did not wish to be named for fear of victimisation, said the nurses were demoralised.

They said while some nurses had been reporting to work, many others had kept away to push for payment.

"Most nurses are demoralised after the county government failed to pay their July salaries. As things stand now, we might on strike if the pay is not forthcoming," said one of the nurses.

Those employed on contract have also complained about unpaid dues.

Njoroge said the nurses were banking on the governor's promises and hoped to receive their pay.

“We are expecting pay by Wednesday (today) as promised failing which we shall communicate to our members what course of action we shall take,” said Njoroge.

Emmarvelien Ondaro, who represents the employed on contract, said 188 health workers had not received their July pay.

Ms Ondaro said there were fears that the workers could also miss their August salaries due to reports they were not factored in the budget.

“Health workers have been reporting on duty without fail. However, we are frustrated. Lack of pay is affecting service delivery,” she said.

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