The Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) says the ongoing strike is in full force and only a meeting set for Monday will review negotiations and determine if the will resume duty or not.
KNUN’s Secretary General Seth Panyako says all public servants basic salaries must be harmonised, even as they pile pressure on the government to implement their Collective Bargaining Agreement.
“We are still on strike,” said Panyako, “The ongoing negotiations have recorded good progress but an agreement is yet to be reached.”
He reiterated that it is urgent that the Recognition Agreement between the nurses and County Governments must be signed by authorised persons in law before any other agreement can be entered into.
“We are not going to agree on a return to work formula; it is the CBA that we have presented and we are looking forward to a harmonised one,” said Panyako.
The union stated that it will also follow keenly the other offers that may be given to any other public servants, to confirm that the benefits are equal.
On Friday, Panyako had expressed optimism that the talks were going to be fruitful, but the tone seems to have changed.
Already the government has moved in to salvage the situation at the Kenyatta National Hospital by deploying KDF doctors, but the situation may worsen if nurses there join the strike.
“We can’t call of a strike then after a month we are back at it again. No, this time round a permanent solution needs to be attained,” stated Panyako.
More than 20 people are reported to have died in several hospitals across the country following the doctors and nurses strike that kicked off on December 5, paralysing operations at several public hospitals.
The strike commenced after a meeting between the Kenya National Union of Nurses and Kenya Medical Practitioners and Pharmacists Union officials with the Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu to discuss the signing of the contentious collective bargaining agreement flopped.