Union officials say nurses strike biting

March 2, 2012 1:31 pm
More nurses join strike/CFM

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 2 – The Union of Kenya Civil Servants is now threatening to mobilise all public servants to join the nurses’ strike on Monday if the government does not intervene by then.

Secretary General Tom Odege said on the second day of the health workers’ strike that they would push on until they see results.

He said the strike was so far 80 percent successful and by the end of the Friday it would be completely successful.

“The public must be well informed. What we are looking for is not only money… the services we are giving to them are inadequate. Let the government come out in public and tell us clearly, for how long are we going to innovate on how to serve the people of Kenya. How often are they supplying drugs into the hospitals and why are they discriminating against the workers in this country,” Odege posed.

On Thursday, nurses at Kenyatta National Hospital, New Nyanza Provincial Hospital, Kisumu and Homa Bay District hospitals ignored the nationwide strike called by the Union of Kenya Civil Servants to demand better pay.

“New Nyanza hospital joined the strike today (Friday) and all services there are paralysed,” Odege stated.

However, nurses at the Kenyatta National Hospital continued ignoring the strike.

“Don’t allow anyone to cheat you, if there is any promise or an agreement, it must be done in public. Our signatures on the agreement must be signed in public and that agreement will only be binding when it’s made public, signed and made legal. So before telling us there is an offer on the table, we want that offer made public,” he told the striking nurses.

The nurses later marched to Afya house, (Ministry of Health headquarters) to continue their push for better pay.

Meanwhile, the vice-chairman of the Kenya Union of Civil Servants in Kisumu Edward Ojiema said hospital managers were trying to use students and interns to fill the gap left by the striking nurses.

On Wednesday, the Kenya Health Professionals Society (KHPS) and Kenya Union of Domestic Hotels, Educational Institutions, Hospitals and Allied Workers were served with a court order restraining them from proceeding with the strike. The order included restrictions against engaging in any activity that could jeopardise the dispensation of health care service at public health facilities.

In December last year, the nurses who are demanding a 300 percent pay hike called off a planned strike after the Kenya Health Professional Society struck a deal with the government.

“On our side we are in agreement except for a few areas which we are still trying to correct so that it is binding but we are in agreement,” KHPS National Chairman Luke Kodambo had said.


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