Nurses to hold talks with Heath officials

Nurses’ union officials are today expected to hold talks with the government over salary increment and harmonisation of their grading scales even as the Gender Commission criticizes the manner in which the negotiations have been handled.

The talks which will be led by the Kenya National Union officials will be held at Afya House at 11 am, just a day after talks between doctors and the government collapsed.

In a statement, the National Gender and Equality Commission said the national government could have stopped the strike in good time and blamed both levels of governance for failing Kenyans.

Despite the criticism, the commission’s Chairperson Winfred Lichuma urged the national government to act with speed and restore normalcy so as to avoid more suffering as well as death on innocent civilians.

“We consider that both the national government and counties have contributed to the situation as it is and have not done justice to guarantee Kenyans the right to health, this is only possible if a holistic approach is taken,” she said.

Doctors, dentists, pharmacists and nurses have skipped work since Monday following the lapse of a 21-day notice despite the existence of an order from the Employment and Labour Relations Court stopping the strike from being held.

On Wednesday, the same court said that doctors and nurses’ union officials risk jail for acting in contempt of the order.

Lady Justice Hellen Wasilwa directed the Kilimani police chief to assist in having the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union and Knun officials be presented in court to explain why they should not be committed to civil jail.

The judge gave the directions after the Council of Governors who had initially sued both unions separately, filed a contempt of court suit arguing that health workers had refused to comply with last week’s orders.

Both Unions have protested SRC’s report on job evaluation claiming that it had failed to indicate what they should earn as well as a delay in their separate pay deals.

Doctors have been demanding a 300 percent pay increase while nurses want a salary increment between 25 to 40 percent with allowances as well.

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