The Government’s plan to roll out its universal health coverage programme next month could be jeopardised by a pay dispute with nurses
The Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) on Monday tabled its demand for a nursing services allowance and uniform allowance. The allowances will increase members' pay by at least Sh15,000.
KNUN's letter to Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki and the Council of Governors said the two allowances were agreed upon in a document that was signed on November 2 last year.
“You will recall that we have made several attempts by way of correspondence to your offices, including requesting a meeting to discuss and ensure the same are implemented. But to this date nothing tangible has been forthcoming,” said KNUN General Secretary Seth Panyako in the letter that was also copied to the Salaries and Remuneration Commission.
The union is demanding that the return to work formula be implemented within 21 days.
According to the agreement, the nursing service allowance was to be increased by Sh3,000 in the 2018/2019 financial year, and Sh3,500 in the 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 financial years. This would push the allowance to Sh30,000 by the year 2021 .
The uniform allowance was also to be increased by Sh5,000 effective July this year.
However, to date, neither the county nor the national governments have acknowledged these demands.
Mr Panyako said that if all their demands will not have been implemented after the 21 days, ending December 9, then all nurses under KNUN in county government facilities and national referral hospitals will commence their strike on December 10.