TALKS TO END STRIKE BY KENYAN NURSES CONTINUE

NAIROBI, The Kenya National Union of Nurses says it is still in talks with the Health Ministry and the Council of Governors (CoG) to find a lasting solution to their predicament as their strike entered its 74th day on Wednesday.

The nurses are accusing the CoG of not signing and implementing their collective bargaining agreement reached earlier in the year and the union’sacting secretary-general, Morris Opetu, is calling on President Uhuru Kenyatta to move with haste and intervene to resolve the deadlock.

Opetu assured the nurses that the union was working closely with the Salaries and Remuneration Commission to ensure they also benefit from the new salary and job evaluation restructuring being carried out by the commission.

Weeks before the Aug 8 general election, the union had stormed out of a meeting with the Council of Governors, faulting the CoG for failing to come up with an agenda which can end the impasse.

The nurses are demanding the implementation of the 2017-2021 collective bargaining agreement signed between their union and the governors of Kenya’s 47 counties. The Council of Governors has since denounced the 40 billion Shillings (about 386 million US dollars) agreement reached in December and presented to the Salaries and Remuneration Commission as proposed pay hike for nurses.

The governors claimed they have no money to pay the negotiated health providers. Last month, at a meeting at the Ministry of Labour, the union said they would accept nothing less than the agreed amount, which it said was 7.25 billion shillings per year and not 40 billion as claimed by the governors.

Services at most public hospitals across the country have yet to return to normal.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK