Roy Lumbe and Paul Ndung’u @lumbe_roy
More than 1,000 nurses in Nakuru county are now threatening to down their tools barely two months after their union called off the countrywide strike that lasted five months, paralysing operations in public hospitals within the county.
They accuse the county government of failing to pay their three months salaries while they were on strike. They yesterday served a one-week strike notice to the county government seeking to be paid their dues, adding that anything other than that would be unacceptable.
The nurses led by branch officials of the Kenya National Union of Nurses (Knun) marched to the county headquarters to deliver the notice to Health Services executive Dr Jonah Manjari.
Knun Nakuru branch secretary general Syprene Odera said they are unhappy because the county only paid nurses salaries for the month of November. “Nurses have not been paid for the past three months, the only salary they have received is for November.”
They raised concern that despite a return-to-work formula signed between the union and the Council of Governors, Nakuru county was among 12 other counties that are yet to pay the three months salary arrears for the period that they were on strike.
They expressed concern that they have been unable to service loans and pay school fees for their children. “We have loans and children to take care of, we are not slaves, we need our money now or we down tools,” said one of the nurses.
The nurses threatened to down their tools if they not paid their salary arrears for the months of August, September and October within the lapse of seven days. Meanwhile, Laikipia county has refuted claims they have not honoured the nurses’ CBA signed last year between the nurses union and the governors.
This follows claims made by the Knun secretary general Seth Panyako who named Laikipia among counties that have not headed to the agreement. However, the County acting Health and Public Service chief officer Donald Moghoi said the county has honoured the CBA and all nurses have been paid and are working.