Nurses call off 2 weeks strike

Kenyan nurses have reached a deal with the government and have officially ended their strike.

Kenyan nurses in a peaceful protest.

Nurses ended their two-week strike on Wednesday after signing an agreement with county governments and the Ministry of Health.

Kenya Union of Nurses (KNUN) secretary general, Seth Panyako, signed the deal on behalf of the health workers following talks over the salaries stalemate.

"Talks on the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) of 2013 will begin in January. For now we have reached an agreement with the counties to end the strike," he said.

After the signing, Panyako urged all nurses to report to work immediately.

“From this moment nurses should begin going to their places of work because the strike is off." He said.

The signed deal would see nurses get an increase of nursing service allowances by Sh20,000 and Sh15,000 respectively paid in two trenches.

Sixty per cent of it will be paid in January 2017 and the remainder 40 per cent on July 1, 2017.

Kenyan nurses went on strike ten days ago, demanding better pay and their union be recognised by the 47 county governments across the country.

The cabinet secretary for Health, Dr. Cleopa Mailu confirmed the deal, saying it would go a long way in averting the health crisis, especially in some areas of the country where there is currently a Cholera outbreak.

However the same cannot be said about the doctor’s strike.

Afresh attempt to end the ten day strike by doctors hit a wall yesterday after union officials were "chased out" of a meeting called by Labour Cabinet Secretary Phyllis Kandie.

Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) Secretary-General Ouma Oluga said the Thursday meeting was casually announced through a phone call by a ministry official on Wednesday night.

"There was no invitation letter or email and no agenda," he said.

According to Olunga, the meeting, scheduled to start at 10am, was delayed, and when Ms Kandie arrived, she demanded to speak to only five union officials and after complying with her order, the CS still told them to leave, saying they had not done as they were told.

The medics went on strike on December 5, 2017 following the failure by the government to fulfill a 2013 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) that among other things agreed to give them a 300% pay hike, recruit more nurses and doctors to reduce the current doctors to patient’s ratio that stands at 1:16,000.

Since the health workers' strike started at least 40 people have already died and services are no existent in public hospitals.

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