Kenya: Nurses Union Issues Strike Notice If Senate Fails to Resolve County Revenue Stand-Off

Nairobi — The Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) has issued a seven-day strike notice if the Senate fails to pass and approve the controversial third basis revenue formula for counties.

The union's Secretary-General Seth Panyako said the continued delay by the Senate to approve the Sh316 billion equitable distribution of funds to the counties has led to an unnecessary delay of remittance of salaries to nurses in some counties.

"We warn the government that we together with all health workers and other county public servants, we will bring this country to its knees on Monday 10th if these issues are not addressed with the urgency that they deserve and specifically the issue of the salary arrears for the last three months," Panyako warned.

He said it was regrettable that the monies are yet to reach the counties especially during this period when the nurses are actively involved in the fight against coronavirus.

"Our nurses and doctors are being infected by this virus and they are not even able to pay their rent or buy food because their salaries are being delayed due to some selfishness. We will not put our lives at risk if our dignity and respect are not observed," Panyako said.

Panyako further called on the Senate not to allow any reduction of County Revenue Allocation, saying that may lead to laying off workers, failure to promote nurses and other health workers further calling for the employment of 7000 jobless nurses to join the fight against coronavirus.

Council of Governors Chairperson Wycliffe Oparanya has warned that service delivery at the counties will be halted if the ongoing disagreement on Revenue Allocation Formula by senators persists.

Speaking during the State of the Devolution Address last week, Oparanya said none of the 47 Counties has received money for the Month of June and therefore, they will not be able to pay even salaries.

He called on Senators to hasten the process and save the counties from an impending crisis especially now that they are expected to improve their health facilities in preparation for rising coronavirus cases in the country.

The Senate is on Tuesday set to sit for a record sixth time to broker a truce on the contentious formula whose bone of contention all along has been that some counties risk gaining whereas others risk losing billions of shillings.

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