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Nurses vow to continue with strike

Kenya National Union of Nurses Ag secretary-general Maurice Opetu speaks during a press conference at their office in Nairobi on June 2, 2017. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 
Kenya National Union of Nurses Ag secretary-general Maurice Opetu speaks during a press conference at their office in Nairobi on June 2, 2017. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NATION MEDIA GROUP   

Striking nurses have rejected the governors’ offer of pay for days they have not been at work, vowing not to return to work until their collective bargaining agreement (CBA) is signed and registered in court.

The Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) secretary general Mr Maurice Opetu told the Business Daily that they were not ready to go back to work for anything else other than the CBA.

Mr Opetu said a meeting that was convened on Thursday by the Council of Governors did not have a clear agenda.

He advised the union members to proceed for elections and not report back to work until further notice.

“Our members will proceed and go for elections like any other Kenyan and members of the public can seek services from faith-based organisations, private facilities and Kenyatta National Hospital until after the elections, perhaps the new government will listen to us,” said Mr Opetu.

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The over 26,000 nurses employed by county governments across the country went on strike in June, citing a breach of their CBA that is yet to be signed and registered in court.

While the counties said they could not afford the Sh40.3billion annual nurses demand, the nurses’ union leaders remain adamant saying they will not renegotiate the earlier agreed deal.

The 47 county governments Thursday offered to pay nurses all their withheld salaries and allowances for the period they have been on strike.

Mr Joseph Tanui, chairman counties' negotiating team, said that the devolved units will also withdraw any disciplinary action that may have been taken against the nurses and agreed that no party shall be victimised.

“Counties will also jointly with the Union initiate the appeal on job evaluation and grading of nurses to the SRC,” said Mr Tanui.

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