Nurses differ with governors over Sh40 billion pay deal

Striking nurses carrying an effigy of Salaries and Renumeration Commission chair as they demonstrate along the streets of Kisii town on July 05,2017.The health workers chanted songs and waved placards as they hoisted the SRCs chair’s effigy. (Photo: Sammy Omingo/ Standard)

Nurses have accused governors of fuelling the ongoing nationwide strike by inflating figures agreed on in their Collective Bargaining Agreement.

While Council of Governors (CoG), through its human resource committee chairperson, Governor James Ongwae, say the proposed deal would cost Sh40.3 billion to implement, nurses say it only needs Sh7.52 billion.

Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) is now blaming the governors for the current stalemate that has seen the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) and Treasury reluctant to give a go-ahead to pay them.

“The actual amount is Sh7.52 billion which is affordable. We do not know whether the problem of implemention lies with SRC or CoG,” said Knun Acting Secretary General Maurice Opetu.

The nurses accused the Government of discrimination in its handling of the strike.

“If lecturers were given Sh10 billion, and 5,000 doctors were given Sh4 billion what is so difficult in awarding 26,000 nurses Sh5 billion?” he posed.

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Last week, while signing a CBA) with doctors, CoG pleaded with the nurses to renegotiate December’s deal.

“That will not happen. The problem with the Government is that they want us to re-open negotiations on a document that was already agreed upon,” retorted Opetu.

According to the CBA signed last year, nurses are entitled to four allowances among other benefits.

These are call allowance- pegged at Sh10,000 every month, risk allowance  Sh15,400 per month, extraneous allowance Sh5,000 and uniform allowance Sh50,000 every year.

It also introduced a new nursing allowance of between Sh15,000 and Sh20,000.

This was to be paid in two phases of 60 and 40 per cent in January and July this year.

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