West Pokot nurses urge President, Governor to intervene in strike

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The ongoing nurses strike has affected services at hospitals
The ongoing nurses strike has affected services at hospitals

West Pokot nurses have asked President Uhuru Kenyatta and area Governor Simon Kachapin to suspend their re-election campaigns and intervene in the ongoing strike.

More than 200 nurses took to the streets of Makutano town carrying placards demanding full implementation of CBA accusing the government of a lack of commitment.

The nurses said they’ll also have a role to play in choosing the destinies of the President and Governors who are busy campaigning and failing to address the strike that has grounded operations in all public hospitals countrywide and in the process, putting voters’ lives at risk.

The Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) West Pokot branch Chairman, Noel Longorenyang said the nurses have a right to demand their CBA to be implemented.

“Patients are suffering over the CBA dispute that can be sorted out in a few hours, the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) and the council of governors are playing blame games that aren’t helping. The strike has affected services at the hospital terribly,” Longorenyang said.

He said they don’t recognize the faction of the union led by embattled KNUN national chairman John Bii, and they will only take orders from Secretary General Seth Panyako.

Simon Kolocho, the branch secretary, asked the President to stop his campaigns for only two days to address the plight of Kenyans who are suffering.

Kolocho pointed out that the said CBA was negotiated comprehensively but the Salaries and Remuneration Commission is to blame for the stalemate that has led to the more than a month-long strike. “We are asking Sarah Serem to please do her work as required, instead of frustrating workers in the country,” he said.

They, however, narrowed down their grievances to the County government stating that even if the CBA will be signed and the countrywide strike be called off West Pokot County nurses will go on with their strike if the Governor fails to fulfill their demands.

“Some nurses have overstayed in one job group without being promoted and others were not paid promotion arrears,” he added.

He added that some nurses are being employed on a contract basis but they are demanding for permanent and pensionable employment hence asked the governor to intervene.

“Implementation of schemes of service for nurses has not been done by West Pokot County government but other Counties have implemented. Lastly, some of us have not been given confirmation of service,” he noted.

The nurses said the Governor should get their message clear and shouldn’t ignore them because Kenyans are the ones suffering.