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Nurses halt strike as parties reach pact but SG absent

“We had no other option other than to save the members of the public”/FILE

“We had no other option other than to save the members of the public”/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 11 – All nurses have been asked to return to work immediately after their union reached an agreement between National and County Governments, marking an end to the weeklong national strike.

The Kenya National Union of Nurses Secretary General Seth Panyako was however conspicuously absent during the signing ceremony which was led by the Deputy Secretary General Morris Odhiambo and KNUN Chairperson John Bii.

Bii termed the move as drastic but necessary to end the suffering of patients across the country.

“We don’t want to be seen as people who are actually not faithful to any process that we arrive at. The union belongs to all of us and not a single individual. The decision that we are going to take here is drastic though it may not go down well with the General Secretary,” Bii stated.

“We had no other option other than to save the members of the public.”

He said they had earlier recalled some medical practitioners from the strike to go help cholera patients in Taita Taveta and Tana River Counties, while some doctors temporarily resumed work following the Naivasha accident that claimed 39 lives and left six with serious injuries.

According to Odhiambo, all the agreements will be incorporated in the CBA while all parties are required to formulate a CBA between 2017- 2021.

Here are the details of the negotiated agreement as read by the Deputy SG:

– It is a negotiated agreement between the National Government, the County Government and the Kenya National Union of Nurses.

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– Whereas the Kenya National Union of Nurses issued a 21 day strike notice on 12th of November 2016, whereas the industrial action by members of the KNUN commenced on Monday 5th December, 2016 and whereas negotiations aimed at unlocking the industrial action has been ongoing now therefore, the parties resolve and agrees as follows;

– That all County Governments will execute the requisite recognition agreement of KNUN by the respective County Secretaries and the chairpersons of the County service board on Wednesday 14, December 2016 at the Council of Governors offices.

– That this agreement will form part and be incorporated in the comprehensive harmonised Collective Bargaining Agreement when signed and registered in court.

– That cognizant of the vital role played by the Collective Bargaining Agreement in fostering harmony between employees and the employer, the parties have agreed to formulate a CBA for the period of 2017-2021, within two months effective from 1st January 2017 but in any case not later than 2nd March 2017.

– That the Government of Kenya has agreed to offer all nurses quantum increase, that is nursing service allowances as follows: for nurses in job group G to L, Sh20,000 and for nurses in job group M, Sh15,000.

– That the foregoing quantum increment will be paid in two paid tranches in the ration of 60 to 40 percent. That is, first tranche 60 pc be payable effective January 2017 and the second tranche of 40 pc effective 1st July 2017.

– That the Kenya National Union of Nurses suspend the strike and all nurses to resume duty immediately.

– That all parties agree that there shall be no victimization or disciplinary action against any member who participated in the industrial action that commenced on December 5, 2016.

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The strike lead to the loss of more than 20 lives.


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