NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 2 – The nurses’ strike which had paralyzed services in county hospitals has been called off. Patients across the country who had felt the biting effect of the strike can now breath easy after the caregivers reached an agreement with the Council of Governors (CoG) and the national government to end the five months of agony following the strike.
Speaking at Delta House after reaching an agreement to end the strike, Kenya National Union of Nurses (Knun) Secretary-General Seth Panyako regretted the protracted strike which exposed ordinary Kenyans to pain and suffering and apologized to the patients who had to bear the burden of the industrial action.
“With the powers conferred to me by the nurses union constitution and the labor laws, I hereby declare that the strike that had begun on 5th June 2017, is officially called off and our members are advised to go back to work with immediate effect and those who can’t make it resume work by Friday 3rd, 2017,” Panyako said.
He further called on the government to continue engaging the union in future to avert any industrial action that can endanger the lives of Kenyans noting that most people who live in this country cannot afford private healthcare.
“It was not our intention to have them suffer due to a nearly collapsed healthcare system when the nurses were on strike. We hope that such thing will not be repeated in the near future. We wish to engage with the government to avert any industrial action that can endanger the lives of Kenyans,”
Health CS Cleophas Mailu and Turkana Governor Josephat Nanok who were present during the signing of the MoU emphasized on the effectiveness of dialogue to end any disagreement.
“Once again I thank the union for agreeing to sit down and talk and now we have reached an amicable solution,” Mailu said.
“We have a deal,” Nanok said.
The nurses had been fighting for risk allowances of Sh15,400 per month, extraneous allowances of Sh5,000 per month and uniform allowance to be increased to Sh50,000 per year from the current Sh10,000 per year.