Patients to keep suffering as nurses in 11 counties down tools

Kenya Union of Nurses Secretary General Seth Panyako addresses media in Kakamega on February 2, 2019. [Benjamin Sakwa/Standard]
Patients continue to bear the brunt in 11 out of 47 counties nationwide if the State and nurses union do not reach an amicable solution.

The Kenya National Union of Nurses Secretary General Seth Panyako has warned that what is happening today in 11 counties is just a tip of the iceberg.

“There is only one option to end this stalemate, which is for nurses to be paid,” he said while speaking in Eldoret on Monday morning.

Panyako claims that Labour Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yattani has ignored their grievances since they issued a strike notice in November 2018. This he says is a complete letdown from the government which has failed to implement a return-to-work formula that saw the last strike suspended.

But the Labour CS in a meeting with aggrieved parties in Nairobi today asked the union to immediately call off the strike to pave way for negotiations.

Yattani also gave the reconciliation committee appointed by government 30 days to end the stalemate, saying “the interests of the public should come first.”

He also shelved the union’s claims that they have been ignored adding that the ministry only comes in when parties are unable to reach consensus.

Glance facts

Union issued strike notice in November 2018.

KNUN wants the 2017 Return-to-work implemented fully. 

Kiambu, Marsabit and Homa Bay counties to join the strike on February 6.

Mandera, Tharaka Nithi counties not on strike after county governments committed to pay nurses.

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Nurses strikeKNUNLabour CS Ukur Yattani