, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 4 – Labour and Social Protection Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani has asked the Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) to call off a planned strike in 23 counties.
Yatani who spoke during a meeting with a conciliation committee appointed to mediate a stalemate that could cripple the health sector affecting most of the country’s population said nurses in the 23 counties should call off the strike as the special committee looks into their grievances.
“You’re expected to stop the industrial action and submit before the committee, process the matter, with a view of getting a solution. If a party is here and at the same time asking its members to proceed with the strike that is in breach of the law and that party will be cited in contempt,” he said on Monday.
The CS urged parties to the dispute to file memoranda with the committee within thirty days to expedite the process.
“Procedurally, all parties are expected to present memoranda outlining their issues so that they can be processed,” he said.
KNUN General Seth Panyako however dismissed Yatani’s appeal saying the strike which kicked off today will continue as planned.
“We’ve 11 counties so far where nurses have downed tools so far. We’re talking of about 8,000 nurses,” he said.
According to Panyako only Machakos, Mombasa and Migori had honored a Collective Bargaining Agreement signed in November 2017, with three others re-committing to the same.
The 23 counties affected by the strike that commenced on Monday include Nairobi, Kisumu, Homa Bay, Muranga, Kisii, Embu, Kiambu, Garissa and Elgeyo Marakwet.
Others are Nyandarua, Nyeri, Samburu, Elgeyo Marakwet, Kirinyaga, Marsabit, TransNzoia, Tharaka Nithi, West Pokot, Kitui, Wajir, Kwale, Mandera and Taita Taveta.