KENYA: GOVT RULES OUT FURTHER NEGOTIATIONS WITH 4-MONTH-LONG STRIKING NURSES

NAIROBI, The Kenyan government has ruled out further negotiations with nurses until they call of the strike.

Health Cabinet Secretary Dr. Cleopas Mailu says the bulk of demands by nurses have been met with the exception of two contentious issues which he says can be resolved once they resume duty.

At the same time he pointed out talks with clinicians were ongoing and prospects of a deal are imminent.

Nearly four months into the health workers strike, the government remains steadfast it will not be arm twisted into ceding more ground until the nurses show good faith by calling off the strike.

Mailu says major issues in the CBA had been agreed upon, and the pending issues such as an increase in the uniform and risk allowances, can be resolved while they are back on duty.

Mailu maintains the government is willing to spread their dues in the next financial year, urging nurses to respect the recommendations by the salaries and remuneration commission which is tasked with setting the ceiling on remuneration and allowances of public servants.

The move by the COG to have the nurses dismissed from work has been supported by the national government who say the nurses’ strike is illegal as pronounced by the court.

At the same time, he pointed out talks with nurses were progressing well and they may soon arrive at a consensus that will see them call off the strike.

He was speaking in Mombasa County during the official opening of the 2017 annual Catholic Health conference where he dismissed claims by the opposition that the tetanus vaccine had a component meant to make women sterile.

In Kisii County, parents who took their children for immunization were left stranded as the health workers continued with their strike.

At the Bobaracho dispensary in Kisii central sub county, area community health committee officials appealed to the two levels of government to resolve the nurse’s impasse through dialogue to alleviate the crisis.

Henry Mabeya’ the management committee chairman, called for resumption of services at the health facility to allow immunization services continue.

However, county director of Health, Dr. Geofrey Otomu clarified that, mitigation efforts between the government and faith-based health facilities, were on to ensure eligible children were not denied the vital jabs. Otomu,urged the private hospitals to offer subsidized vaccines.

He advised mothers who delivered at home to report to the nearest public health facility for necessary advice on the same.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK