Nurses remain defiant on strike despite court order

Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) Secretary General Seth Panyako. PHOTO| COURTESY
Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) Secretary General Seth Panyako during a past press address. PHOTO| FILE

The Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) Secretary General Seth Panyako insisted that they will ignore the directive of the court suspending their strike for 60 days.

Panyako spoke even as it emerged that nurses in 10 out of 22 counties that were yet to sign the Collective Bargaining Agreement had downed their tools.

At the center of the dispute is the failure by some counties to implement a return to work formula that would see nurses receive increased allowances including salary and uniform.

Only 4 counties Mombasa, Machakos, Migori and Kwale have fully implemented the CBA.

The nurses are now pointing an accusing finger at the council of governors claiming the council is blocking counties from implementing the collective bargaining agreement they signed in 2017.

Senators have since raised questions on whether the counties have misappropriated the monies they set aside for the implementation of the CBA.

The 10 counties whose nurses are on strike include West Pokot, Kisumu, Kisii, Taita Taveta, Trans Nzoia, Wajir, Elgeyo Marakwet, Homabay, Marsabit and Nyeri.

The offices of the governors listed as being on strike have however chosen to bury their heads in the sand refuting the claims of a strike, some however have implored the nurses to heed to the court orders and return to work…

So far nurses in seven counties have suspended the strike, Nairobi having inked the deal on Tuesday night.

14 other counties are still in talks with the nurses in a bid to end the stalemate.

Meanwhile the council of governors has served the nurses with the court orders, despite finding their offices closed.

The nurses’ union which appeared before the Senate Labour Committee accused the Council of Governors of frustrating their engagement with counties.

Most of the governors in the counties where nurses are on strike could not be reached for comment, while a few of them denied the strike is on in their counties.

Report by Chemutai Goin

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