, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 20 – The government has urged union officials of the Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotels, Educational Institutions and Hospital Workers to immediately call off the strike by Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) personnel.
Cabinet Secretary in charge of Health James Macharia said the government would fully implement the Comprehensive Bargaining Agreement beginning July.
He explained that the National Treasury would be in a position to provide the necessary resources beginning July, this year, to ensure the full implementation of the bargaining agreement.
“I am therefore urging the union officials to call off the industrial action with immediate effect to ensure resumption of full services by all their members,” he directed.
KNH staff went on strike on Wednesday slowing down business at the referral hospital.
Labour and Social Services Cabinet Secretary Kazungu Kambi had on Wednesday revealed that he had received a notification of the industrial action urging them to go back to work and give the government a chance to resolve their disputes.
“Today I received a notice that KNH staff also want to strike but I hope they will understand because I will make sure that they get the best,” he said.
Macharia added that patients should not be subjected to inhumane treatment because of something that the government was already working on.
“I further call upon all the staff to fully cooperate to alleviate the suffering of the patients. Finally, I take this opportunity to thank all those members of Kenyatta National Hospital staff who have continued to offer services during this period of industrial action,” he said.
Teachers and matatu owners had also issued a strike notice but while the Public Service Vehicles remain on the roads, it is not clear where teachers stand. Some teachers have stayed out of the classrooms while others are still continuing with their duties.
The Nairobi County workers also downed their tools on Wednesday saying they had not been paid for the works done in May.
The workers paralysed services at the County before but officials at the Governor’s office later issued a statement saying that the delay had been caused by ‘some teething problems’.
“The County Council, like other organisations is transitioning from the old to the new order and in this circumstances teething problems like this are expected,” read a statement signed by the Interim County Secretary Lillian Ndegwa.
The Council also said that it was experiencing financial constraints that were eating into its collections. It further asked the workers to resume their duties arguing that the strike would only make the situation worse.
“The cause of the County Council’s financial problems extends to decades of accumulated debts amounting to Sh33 billion. The monthly collections are so low that they cannot sustain the monthly wage bill which stands Sh530 million,” said Ndegwa.