, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 6 – Senators and the Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) have accused the Council of Governors (CoG) and the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) of blocking implementation of a return-to-work agreement that increases allowances for nurses.
KNUN Deputy Secretary General Maurice Opetu who appeared before the Senate Labour and Social Welfare Committee tabled a letter from the Council of Governors directing counties not to the honour the agreement.
The Senators led by Committee Chairman Johnson Sakaja (Nairobi) questioned the motive behind the governors’ club frustrating health services across some 22 counties which experienced paralysis in public health facilities after nurses downed their tools on Monday and Tuesday.
The Committee resolved to summon SRC, CoG, the National Treasury and KNUN on Friday to explain the reasons for disowning the document that played a key role in the 2017 negotiations.
Sakaja has further directed Health and Treasury CECs in the 22 counties who are yet to engage the nurses to attend the meeting.
Sakaja, his deputy Alice Chepkorir backed by Senators Mutula Kilonzo Junior (Makueni), Samson Cherargei (Nandi), Isaac Mwaura (Nominated) expressed concern that the SRC and CoG have conspired to defraud nurses through delaying implementation of the 2017 agreement which was to be settled in four tranches.
“We must bring to a stop this institutional lethargy that is now playing out like a conspiracy. It appears some counties have diverted funds for nurses,” said Sakaja.
KNUN said they are demanding that counties release annual disbursement of Sh28million that will go towards uniform allowances (Sh5,000) and nursing services allowance (Sh3,000).
The allowances were to be implemented in three phases from the 2018/2019 financial year to 2020/2021.
Mombasa, Migori, Machakos and Kwale counties have fully paid allowances as per the agreement.
“We find these games played by the ministry as tricks meant to sabotage President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four Agenda. As a Union, we shall not accept them,” Opetu stated.