Nurses in Kwale county threaten to down tools

Nurses hold demonstrations in Mombasa. Nurses managers in Tana River have defied the order to strike FILE/PHOTO.

Kwale, KENYA: Nurses in Kwale county have threatened to down their tools by end of January in case the county government fails to honor their return to work formulae agreement.

The Kwale county branch chair for Kenya National Union of Nurses Tobayas Onyango said the return to work formulae which sought to have nurses allowances increased in a period of 3 years was to be implemented by  July 2018  but the county government has not honoured the agreement.
“The return to work formulae contains so many things most of which were implemented but the nursing service allowance amounting to a sh.10,000 increment and nurses uniform allowance which total to sh.15,000 increment to be implemented in three phases between 2018-2021of every financial year was yet to become effective,” he said.
He noted that the implementation process of the return to work formulae was delayed as the former Salary and Remuneration Commission SRC led by its chair Sarah Serem was meant to approve the Kwale nurses allowances but its term had come to an end before they did.
He, however, called on the leadership of Kwale county to replicate what other counties have done with regard to the implementation of nurses return to work formulae.
“Now that the new SRC is in place and counties have money to pay nurses, we don’t expect any excuse. In fact, Migori and Machakos have paid nurses including all their accrued areas. Kwale county has promised to pay nurses by end month but if they don’t do so by 2nd of February we will simply down our tools,” he said.
Kwale county health minister Francis Gwama assured nurses that their return to work formulae will be implemented soon saying there was no need for them to call for industrial action.
The leaders spoke in Diani, Msambweni sub-county during a ceremony held to celebrate the election of the Kwale based nurse Triza Ireri in the position of a national secretary to Kenya Progressive Nurses Association KPNA as well as to recognize the role of nurses and their achievements in the health sector.