12 February 2019

Kenya: Ukur Yatani Asks Striking Nurses to Obey Court Order

Labour Cabinet Secretary (CS) Ukur Yatani has pleaded with the nurses' union to call off strike in good faith because conciliatory meetings are still ongoing.

In a statement, CS Yatani accused nurses of defying a court order issued on February 5 suspending their strike.

"It was my expectation that following the court order, the union [Kenya National Union of Nurses (Knun)] would have called off the strike as was directed to give conciliation a chance," said Mr Yatani on Monday.

Mr Yattani said the nurses' strike has not only impeded service delivery but also impacted negatively on the conciliation process.

The nurses' strike started on February 4 over a return-to-work formula entered on November 2, 2017, which they say has not been fully implemented.

ALLOWANCES DEAL

The agreement was arrived at after several months of strike which won nurses service and uniform allowances.

Nurses sponsored by the national government have since joined the strike which has already spread to 13 counties.

Nurses from Mathari National Teaching and Referral Hospital, Kenya National Blood Transfusion Service and those deployed at airports on Monday went on strike demanding allowances and promotions.

Clinical officers too have threatened to strike, in a move that is expected to lead to more suffering among the many Kenyans who rely on public hospitals for healthcare services.

The clinical officers issued the threat accusing the Health ministry of failing to resolve a stalemate between health workers and the county governments.

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