Kenya:President Kenyatta issues ultimatum to nurses

Kenya:President Kenyatta issues ultimatum to nurses

By Samuel Ouma |@journalist_27

President Kenyatta on Wednesday ordered striking nurses to report back to work latest by Friday, February 15 or face the sack.

The Head of State also directed police to take stern action against any medical personnel who will harass their colleagues who will resume work.

“All nurses should resume duty with immediate effect and in any case not later than Friday at 8pm. Any nurse who fails to report to work as directed above will be dismissed by the County Governments and the Ministry of Health,” he said.

“As the Commander in Chief of Kenya Defence Forces, I have instructed National Police Service to take stern action on demonstrators who may intimidate public servants who intend to go to work,” he warned.

Speaking after meeting council of governors at State House, the President lashed out at nurses for disobeying the court order which suspended their strike for 60 days to allow for any negotiation and reconciliation meetings by the Ministry of Labour, Kenya National Union of Nurses and County Governments.

“It is therefore disheartening to learn that some of our nurses have decided to engage in unlawful withdrawal of their labour against the determination of the Employment and Labour Relations Court, with suspended any industrial action for sixty days,” he noted.

He vowed that he will not let illegal strikes to hamper development which is picking well across the country.

In rejoinder to the President’s order, the Nurses union promised to stay put until their demands are met. The union officials said President has no authority to call off the strike noting it is the mandate of county public service board.

“The union leadership has a mandate drawn from our membership; the ongoing strike thereby is determined by the members through the branch leadership. We the national leaders can only be directed by the branch leadership,” said Joseph Bwasi, the chairman of Kenya National Union of Nurses.

On his side, Seth Panyako, the union Secretary General reiterated that nurses from nine counties will join their colleagues.  The industrial action began on February 4 and it brings together nurses from13 countries.

The medics are demanding the implementation of Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) they signed with county government in November 2, 2017. Upon the implementation of the agreement, nurses’ salary and allowances will increase.

 

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