Nurses strike: CoG urge nurses, clinical officers in 34 counties return to work amid conciliation talks

CoG Chair Wycliffe Oparanya. Image/Courtesy
See also: Talks to end nurses strike fail
A day after the Kenya Union of Nurses (Knun) and Clinical officers affirmed that they will be continuing with their strike until their grievances are adhered to, the Council of Governors (CoG) has appealed that they put Kenya first, especially during this difficult time of the pandemic.

Speaking in Nairobi on Wednesday, CoG human resource chair, who is also Baringo Governor Stanley Kiptis said the council is working on some of the issued raised by the union, and thus they should reconsider going back to work.

“We are dealing with promotion and confirmation for new nurses and clinical officers at the moment. There is also annual increment deal that we are implementing. So, we are appealing to them to be considerate,” said Governor Kiptis.

CoG says that they have been considerate enough since the 2017 return to work agreement they agreed upon with the union, adding that the amendment made for salary increment across various job groups should be honoured by the union.

“They are coming at time we are through with our budget allocation and with no resources. This therefore calls for their patients as we deal with the matter at the conciliation table,” the governor said.

Kiptis added that the nurses and clinical officers demand is huge, “which we cannot realize for now, but when resources are available, we will make some increments.”

He called upon the union leaders to call off the strike and let their members join their fellow in 13 counties, who have put their differences aside to serve Kenyans.

“We appreciate all the nurses, doctors and clinical officers who have gone back to work. This is a matter we should all consider that those suffering in hospitals could your brother, your neighbour or your parent,” he said.

CoG chairman, Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya warned that if they continue with strike, the council will be forced to take stun action.

“We appreciate their commitment especially at this difficult time of the pandemic. They ought to have suspended the strike following conciliation talks with the ministry of labour but if they continue defying the call, we take stun action,” said Governor Oparanya.

Oparanya also said the union demands can only be met by the council, should the Salaries and Renumeration Commission (SRC) approve the agreed upon in December 2020.

The strike which has lasted for over a month, is instigated by over dozen issues including demand for the release of all withheld salaries, issuance of a comprehensive medical cover and group life insurance, enhancement of risk allowance of Sh30,000, the employment of more nurses, payment of nurses’ medical bills and compensation of families of the departed nurses.



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