Hundreds of nurses from West Pokot sacked for participating in strike
West Pokot county has sacked 112 nurses who participated in the nurses’ strike while on contract. The sacked nurses received their dismissal letters which gave them 90 days to appeal the decision.
The Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) has however given the county government a one-week ultimatum to reinstate the nurses or else they will paralyze the health services in the entire county.
KNUN West pokot branch secretary Simon Konocho has termed the sacking as political and promised to seek legal redress if the matter is not sorted out.
”We shall go to their offices and we expect them to listen to our grievances. This is a hostile employer and we will not accept being mistreated. We did not violate any law. We only learnt through the media that 112 nurses have been sacked,” said Konocho.
Following the strike, the West Pokot county government has issued new terms and conditions of service for all contracted nurses. The nurses are required to reapply for their positions through the county services board.
Nurses went on strike after the Salaries and Remuneration Commission chairperson Lyn Meng’ich declared that the government would not to meet nurses’ pay demands because it can’t afford to.
“If we give in to the nurses’ demands, other health workers will also demand the same. This will have a ripple effect on the health sector,” she said.
After three weeks of suffering by patients in the county, on February 23, 2019, more than 400 nurses called off their strike.