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Nurses union signs new CBA deal with hospital

By Michael Ollinga | February 6th 2015

Frequent nurses' strikes that have haunted the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) in Eldoret for the last two years will be a thing of the past after the hospital and their employees signed a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

Over 800 MTRH nurses under the Kenya National Union of Nurses (Knun) last week went on a three-day strike to push the hospital to sign a CBA they had negotiated since 2012.

KNUN National Secretary General Seth Panyako and John Bii the chairman temporarily called off the three-day strike after negotiating a return-to-work formula with the hospital's administration while waiting for conclusions of negotiations on the CBA on February 3.

"Key issues in the return-to-work formula were that the employer (MTRH) and Knun officials will have three members each to form a joint committee that would verify the genuineness of the CBA document before we append signatures for approval," said Mr Panyako.

John Bii who spoke to The Standard said, "I am happy to announce that we have signed a binding document with the MTRH board of management which addresses most issues that have been leading to strikes after an amicable agreement."

Key issues in the CBA included promotion and re-disgnation of staff, working hours, remuneration and payment of other allowances which after the signing will only be reviewed in 2018.

SRC's input

Bii who was on the front line advocating the approval of the CBA had earlier dismissed the Salaries and Remuneration Commission's (SRC) input to the agreement, saying they had not been part of the negotiations that developed the document.

"It was great that SRC only gave the advisory and we negotiated other things with the employer and I am happy that service delivery will be stable for the time the CBA is in place," explained Bii.

Bii confirmed the signing of the CBA was done at a ceremony that was held at MTRH's Nairobi liaison office late Tuesday.

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