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Kenyatta National Hospital is the largest referral hospital in East and Central Africa/FILE

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KNH workers resume duty following strike suspension order

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 30 – Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) workers called off their strike on Wednesday which had disrupted operations in the region’s largest public referral hospital over the last three days.

Union leaders emerged from a meeting with the KNH management saying that the decision was in line with a ruling by the Employment and Labour Relations Court suspending the strike pending the hearing of a case filed by the hospital.

Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) Secretary General Seth Panyako said union leaders had come to a consensus to change the tact of fighting for the interest of hospital workers and will hence resort to the court process.

“If we do not respect court orders, we are not going anywhere, we will fight inside courts, we have allowed you to resume work and allow us to pursue this through the court,” he said.

Panyako further assured the workers that union leaders will fight for their interest through the courts.

“I am sure we will get this managed. The strike has not been stopped, its been suspended, he asserted.

Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU) Acting Secretary General Chibanzi Mwachonda, said discrimination of health workers at KNH reflects on the poor conditions of all workers in the country.

“We are keeping our eye on the money, we will make sure you are paid that money, this is a war against Salaries Renumeration Commission (SRC) and this is an example of how workers in the country are frustrated,” he said.

The ruling followed an application filed by KNH on Tuesday which was certified as urgent.

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The matter was slated for hearing on October 6.

KNH workers had gone on strike, accusing the hospital of failing to effect salary increments commensurate with the institution’s elevated categorization.

The court directed the hospital management to serve striking workers and interested parties not later than the close of business Wednesday.

More than 5,000 workers in the country’s biggest referral hospital had downed tools over the salary increment stalemate pitting KNH workers against the State salary review agency, SRC.

SRC Wednesday dismissed pay review demands by Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) workers as misguided saying the demands were not anchored on five core principles guiding job grading and salary structures.

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