The Standard Group Plc is a multi-media organization with investments in media platforms spanning newspaper print operations, television, radio broadcasting, digital and online services. The Standard Group is recognized as a leading multi-media house in Kenya with a key influence in matters of national and international interest.
  • Standard Group Plc HQ Office,
  • The Standard Group Center,Mombasa Road.
  • P.O Box 30080-00100,Nairobi, Kenya.
  • Telephone number: 0203222111, 0719012111
  • Email: [email protected]

Nurses union issues seven-day strike over 'unmet demands'

 Knun Secretary General Seth Panyako (right). Knun wants the nurses under UHC employed on permanent and pensionable terms. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard]

The Kenya National Union of Nurses (Knun) has issued a one-week strike notice to the government if its demands are not met.

Speaking in Nairobi on Monday, Knun Secretary General Seth Panyako accused the Salaries and Remuneration Commission of subverting an agreement on interns and nurses hired on short contracts under the Universal Health Care programme.

The union wants the nurses employed on permanent and pensionable terms.

Knun Deputy Secretary General Maurice Opety said the reason the union had not called a strike was because negotiations were underway.

“We did not join any strike for a good reason and we hope the rest of our sister unions have understood. Meanwhile, we respect what they’re doing since it is within their democratic space,” said Opetu.

He however said that if their demands were not met then nurses would down their tools. 

Knun officials called out SRC for driving the crisis in the health sector.

“We are saying that SRC, being the body that seems to be causing the strikes in Kenya, should not take more than one week without giving us a letter of the negotiated CBA,” said Opetu.

He also added that the one-week notice should be used the salvage the faltering talks with the state.

“We are only giving the ministry and SRC one more chance to complete the process by giving us a more objective response or letter so that we can proceed to sign the agreement and deposit or register it in court for implementation,” Opetu added.

Panyako called on President William Ruto to act against those he claimed were tarnishing the government’s image. “A narrative of a lying government is being built and the foundation is so strong that even the unborn can see it,” said Panyako.

Part of the union’s demands is the hiring of some of its members on permanent and pensionable terms.

However, SRC indicated recently that the nurses’ contracts would be extended for a further two years.

“You must pay UHC staff the arrears for the underpayments for the past four years. We will not go for anything short of what we agreed on. There is a move by the government to force all trade unions to go on the street in the health sector in order to kill public health and hand it to private hospitals,” he added.

The officials also called on the members who have been issued with posting letters by the Ministry of Health, to accept them. They also added that the call for industrial action can only be made by the National Governing Council.

Knun’s hard stance is expected to aggravate the ongoing crisis in the health sector, which began by the doctors’ strike now on day 50. Laboratory technologists and clinical officers have since joined the strike.

Meanwhile, Labour and Social Protection Cabinet Secretary Florence Bore has asked striking doctors to be humane during this flooding period and end their strike.

She said that out of the 19 demands that the doctors wanted fulfilled, the government had yielded to 17.

“As soon as the economy improves, I promise doctors that we will have a signed memorandum on the increase of their salaries,” said Bore.

She was confident today’s High Court decision will yield positive results and doctors will return to work. She was speaking at Kanyariri Anglican Church of Kenya in Kiambu.

Related Topics


Trending Now


Popular this week