The Moi Teaching Hospital management is negotiating with the nurses union and other staff to avert a strike. CEO Dr John Kibosia offered to negotiate after the workers issued a 10-day strike notice.
Union official at the hospital Paul Athing however says they had already negotiated and agreed on a Collective Bergaining Agreement (CBA) which they want the government and the hospital management to effect.
Athing said they will not meet the hospital management over the matter and will go on strike when then the notice expires. The workers want the government to implement the CBA signed two years ago.
Kenya National Nurses Union and the Kenya Union of Domestic Hotels and Allied workers represented the hospital workers in signing the CBA. "Our pain is that our colleagues at the Kenyatta National Hospital have already benefiited from what was agreed in the CBA yet we are being told to wait,"said Athing.
Athing and the KUDHEIHA shop steward the hospital, Kiplagat Rop, said they have tried in vain to have the CBA implemented "If nothing happens in the next 10 days there will be no retreat or surrender. We will down our tools officially as from September 2nd," said Rop.
The CBA gave the workers a 12 percent salary increament per year among other increased allowances for the period 20012-2014 but so far nothing has been implemented by the government. "Now we want a 24 percent increament for the two years and double of the allowances we had agreed,"said Rop. The notice has already been served on the hospital administration.
Dr Kobia said the money for implementation of the CBA has not been released by the national government. "We will talk to them about their concerns and find ways to resolve their complains so that we avoid the strike,"said Kibosia who was speaking to The Star on phone.
The union officials addressed the workers at the hospital where they accused the government of selectively implementing the CBA by favouring those at the Kenyatta National Hospital.
Athing said they would no longer engage in negotiations over the CBA because the deal was already signed and should have been implemented as from last year.
The hospital has more than 3,000 workers, most of whom are nurses and other paramedics. They have asked the Cabinet Secretary for Health James Macharia to intervene and have the money released to them.