NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 7 – COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli has called on the Ministry of Labour to intervene in the ongoing strikes at the Kenyatta National Hospital so that services at the largest referral hospital in the country can resume.
Atwoli has also raised concerns over the emerging labour unrest and urged unions to follow the industrial relations machinery before going on strike.
“There is nothing that cannot be sorted out if we do it within the confines of our laid down procedures on industrial relations. We are skipping these procedures and looking for shortcuts to settle our problems,” he cautioned.
He has also urged the Ministry of Labour to appoint a conciliator to help resolve the underlying concerns.
“The Ministry of Labour should also come up with a multi-sectoral team to help deal with the issues,” he advised.
The move comes even as the crisis at the Kenyatta National Hospital deepened when nurses downed their tools Tuesday, complaining of mistreatment following a brain surgery mix-up.
Consultant doctors joined the over 700 registrar doctors who on Monday boycotted work after their colleague was suspended due to the surgery mix-up.
Meanwhile, the Universities Academic Staff Union launched a strike last week which has seen learning in public universities and medical schools paralyzed.
Officials of UASU said there will be no more negotiations until their demands are met.
UASU Secretary General Constantine Wasonga directed that all staff in public universities down their tools with immediate effect until the 2017-2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement is implemented.