NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 7 – The Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) has insisted that it will not go back to the drawing board, instead calling for signing of the draft Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) they crafted with the Council of Governors.
Addressing the press after a session with the Labour Cabinet Secretary Phyllis Kandie who intervened after the Council of Governors (CoG) registered a dispute on Wednesday, KNUN’s Acting Secretary General Morris Opetu faulted the council for being insincere in the concluded CBA talks.
“The union has a clear position; that they have negotiated, agreed and concluded the CBA ready for signing. Even in the words of the CoG itself, we have them on record asking us for a date to sign the CBA and we gave them so whatever they’re still doing with our CBA it is them who can explain,” Opetu told the press at the Ministry of East African Community, Labour and Social Protection headquarters in Nairobi.
Opetu insisted that the draft CBA forwarded to the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) on May 31 by CoG’s Chief Executive Officer Jacqueline Mogeni was in fact a deal that had been arrived at as a result of talks between the union and the governors’ council.
He argued that the union was not in dispute with either levels of government, saying it was unfortunate that governors registered a dispute when a draft document had already been agreed upon.
CS Kandie on her part said the parties in the dispute needed to agree and iron out their differences before a final draft CBA is forwarded to the SRC for approval.
“SRC’s input is yet to be obtained. The nurses are saying they have concluded the negotiation, the council is saying they have not agreed. The two sides need to agree so that we can have a document that we can present to the SRC for a ‘letter of no objection’ and once the commission has given its advice then that is a document that can be signed and registered in court,” she said.
The CS will be chairing a session with representatives from the CoG and KNUN on Thursday in a bid to resolve the crisis in public health facilities occasioned by the nurses strike.
On Tuesday, the SRC came clean of accusations that it was undermining the implementation of the CBA by declining to give a ‘letter of no objection’ saying the CoG and the union did not follow parameters it gave to ensure the pact is affordable and sustainable.
“Despite all its efforts since February 2017, to ensure the CBA is concluded within the shortest time possible, this has not been achieved. It is regrettable that the blame in honouring the CBA is being placed on the doorsteps of SRC,” Commission Chairperson Sarah Serem said.