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Why Nairobi nurses are threatening to go on strike


Nurses in Nairobi have threatened to go on strike in the next 10 days due to lack of promotions and wrong placements of nurses in the capital city.

The Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) Nairobi branch secretary Ediah Muruli said that the nurses will down their tools on December 10, stating that the strike is inevitable if the county government of Nairobi does not listen to them.

Ms Muruli cited lack of promotions of nurses, right placement or re-designation which has never been looked into since 2013 and the failure to fully implement a return to work formula signed on November 2, 2017.

She said that the lack of promotions has created a situation where nurses retire in job group K instead of job group N denying them huge amounts of dues.

RETURN TO WORK

“Even if they implement the return to work formula but do not promote the nurses of this county or redesignate and put them in their right placements then the strike is inevitable. We shall be going on strike because of lack of promotions and right placements of our nurses,” said Ms Muruli during a press conference at Uchumi House, Nairobi on Thursday.

The secretary explained that the county had written to the union on November 16, 2018 indicating that they will comply with the return to work formula they had signed by December and all eyes are on Governor Mike Sonko to ensure compliance.

She said that the county had promised to implement the return to work formula in July this year but they have not done so and has only given the union a letter of goodwill.

“We are putting our governor on notice. As a nurses’ fraternity of Nairobi City County government, we have resolved to induce a strike to compel the employer to commit to promote and re-designate all the deserving nurses,” she said.

She stated that attempts by the union to seek audience with the county government has proven futile with several overtures to meet officials from the county never forthcoming.

DEMOTIVATED STAFF

Ms Muruli also cited the alleged reluctance by the County Public Service Board to promote nurses and give them right placement or re-designation even after due process had been undertaken, explaining that this has led to a pool of demotivated staff.

“We have heard from reliable sources of the unwillingness of the board to promote all the deserving nurses. We have made several attempts to sit and discuss but no meeting has ever been forthcoming. His officers did not show up and now we have no option and we are telling our members to be ready. As nurses we cannot work when we are demotivated,” said Ms Muruli.

The KNUN official also dared Governor Sonko to make good his threats to sack nurses who will participate in any strike saying that strike is anchored in the Kenyan Constitution.

She accused the City Hall boss of infringing on the nurses’, who work in extreme conditions exposing them to mental, physical and psychological torture, rights yet ‘he has been saying he is protecting Nairobi residents’.

“He has been on record saying that if we attempt to go on strike then the county will sack them and employ new nurses. Let him employ them because we have a huge shortage of nurses in Nairobi. That will be a positive for us,” said Ms Muruli.