Nurses in Kisii County are back to the streets to protest over the government’s decision to implement the lecturers’ collective bargaining agreement (CBA) while ignoring theirs.
The nurses claimed that both the county and national governments have sidelined them after doctors, clinical officers and civil servants’ pay demands were met.
The government had on Tuesday promised to release Sh5.25 billion by the end of July to pay lecturers.
The Kisii County Kenya National Union of Nurses (Knun) Chairman blamed Governor James Ongwae for poor representation despite being the Council of Governors chairman of the Human Resource, Labour and Social Welfare Committee.
“All the other striking workers including lecturers and doctors and have had their CBAs signed. Even clinical officers reached a deal with the government, why are the nurses being discriminated against?” posed Mr Oigo on Wednesday.
Mr Oigo said mortality rates have increased since the nurses’ strike began as most patients can not afford to get treatment at private health facilities.
He claimed that many private hospitals had employed untrained staff to take care of the rising number of patients at the facilities.
“Even patients who seek treatment at private health facilities are not safe because some of the nurses there are not qualified,” Mr Oigo said.
He added: “ People are dying at home because the national government has failed to take the health sector seriously.”
The Kisii County Knun Deputy Secretary Eric Rioba said that nurses will not return to work unless their grievances are addressed.
Mr Rioba urged the government to prevent more loss of lives by implementing the nurses’ CBA before the August 8 polls.
The nurses gave the Kisii County Secretary Ronald Ombasa a one week ultimatum to ensure that nurses on temporary contracts are given permanent employment.
Charity organisation asks government to intervene to end strike.