, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 26 – The split within the one-year old Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) continued to play out on Sunday after Chairman Jophinus Musundi led a group in disowning a strike notice issued by a group led by Secretary General Seth Panyako.
Musundi urged members to disregard the strike notice which he said was not approved by the Union’s National Governing Council.
“We are aware that the Secretary General has announced a strike for nurses, we would like to assure all nurses and the public that we have chosen to have dialogue and an industrial action will be the last resort. In any case the NGC has not approved the strike and what the Secretary General is talking about is his opinion,” said the chairman.
He said they will continue holding talks with the government to resolve issues regarding the signing of a Collective Bargaining Agreement and absorption of the ESPs’ nurses and the nurses concern regarding the country’s Ebola preparedness.
Musundi who was flanked by Lydia Ngari (National Deputy Trustee), Arphaxard Kemboi (National Treasurer), Lilian Osuga (Chief Trustee) and Joseph Wandereva (National Organising Secretary) said that they were confident that the negotiations with the officials from the Ministry of Health led by the Principal Secretary will bear fruits.
“We have held two meeting this month alone, and we report that there is progress indeed if the Ministry of Health authorities can fast track this undertaking. The union will continue to engage in ethical conduct and our efforts will be generated to the service delivery to both the national and county government so to say otherwise we will be totally unfair to the health administration,” he stated.
The Kenya Nurse Association, the Progressive Nurses Association and the Nursing Council of Kenya are also taking part in the negotiations, according to Musundi.
KNUN Secretary General told a news conference held on Friday that the nurses union had issued the government with a seven-day strike notice effective immediately, unless the government addresses their grievances.
KNUN wants all nurses on contract be employed permanently, and the government to look into their working conditions.