Governors give striking nurses a week to resume or be sacked

Nurses in the streets, where they have been for three months to push for a pay deal. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Nurses in the streets, where they have been for three months to push for a pay deal. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Governors have given striking nurses a week to resume work in yet another carrot-and-stick offer that seeks to pardon those who comply and sacking the defiant ones.

The countrywide strike now on its third month is a push by the nurses for the implementation of a collective bargaining agreement.

A week before the August 8 polls, the nurses rejected the last offer by the governors to end their strike against an offer to release their July salaries and allowances.

The decision was arrived at during a closed-door meeting on Thursday of the Council of Governors (CoG) and attended by Health Secretary Cleopa Mailu, Public Service Commission chairperson Margaret Kobia and the Salaries and Remuneration Commission chief executive Anne Gitau.

“The Council hereby puts all the striking nurses on notice to return to work by September 8 2017. All nurses who will not have returned to work by then will stand sacked,” CoG chairman Josphat Nanok told journalists.

The meeting was also attended by chairpersons of the county public service boards and representatives of the Ministry of Devolution and Planning.

Mr Nanok said after the lapse of window period, counties will advertise the positions of nurses who will have not returned to work and their salaries stopped.

To avert a similar situation in the future, the devolved units, he said, will employ nurses on contract basis, a practice already adopted by a number of counties.

He reiterated that some of the nurses’ demands cannot be met due to budgetary constraints.

“As a matter of fact the nurses’ strike is illegal. It is notable that the nurses went on strike while the negotiations on their CBA were taking place. This was an act in bad faith,” said Mr Nanok.