Nurses in Tana River to down tools next week

 Tana River, KENYA: Nurses in Tana River County are planning to go on strike as from next week over the failure by the county government to adhere to the nurses’ pay agreement.

Speaking to Baraka FM on Thursday  Tana River secretary general branch Mr. Damon Kwaraa said that they have been patient enough to the government but in vain.

Mr. Kwaraa said already they presented their strike notice two weeks ago to notify the government on their move to join other counties.

The secretary insisted that the strike will begin on 18th of February after their humble wait for the government enactment of the KNUN agreement led by the national head Seth Panyako.

According to Kwaraa there has been a positive hope from the county government but as the time went by they’re informed to wait until talks would be over between the county government and Salaries Remuneration Commission SRC.

“We discussed and gave them enough time and we were hopeful that maybe before 4th of Feb they would have implemented the agreement together with the paying of allowances but two or three weeks ago our government became untrustworthy and we delayed the strike because we hoped they would implement. As we are speaking the time is over, the ultimatum is over and they have not shown any signs of implementation. They are telling us every day that they are waiting for a directive from SRC or waiting for the budget but we know there was a day we were told that the fund was in the budget and that they were waiting for a go-ahead from the commission. We submitted a notice two weeks ago that on 17th as from 11.59 PM we shall be starting our strike and every member will be downing his or her tools ready for the move,” said the secretary.

Kwaraa has named the strike as valid one saying that they will do it courageously without fearing threats of being sacked saying the strike is a weapon for employees to push for their constitutional rights.

The head of nurses added that the strike is due to a directive from their boss Seth Panyako following a long strike in year 2017 which was solved with an agreement with the national government over the accumulation of allowances (uniform allowances and nursing service allowances which was to be implemented in three phases 2018/2019/2020 of which the government failed to implement the first phase which was to begin in July 2018.

Labour court suspends nurses strike

On 4th of February,  Panyako directed the branch officials to make discussions with their county governments and it was when the strike started.

Kwaraa said that already three counties; Kwale, Mombasa and Kilifi in the coastal region are in the process to fulfill the nurses’ agreement.

The branch is declaring the strike at a time when the president Uhuru Kenyatta has ordered all the nurses who are on strike to resume their duties before the end of the week or else lose their jobs.