NewsEast & Horn AfricaKenya nurses in strike over pay dispute

Sat,24Jun2017

Posted on Wednesday, 14 June 2017 16:13

Kenya nurses in strike over pay dispute

By Reuters

Kenyan nurses and other health-workers demonstrate over low pay in Nairobi, during a strike in December 2016. Photo: Ben Curtis/AP/SIPAKenyan nurses have been on strike for over a week demanding a rise in pay and improved working conditions.

 

The strike has brought health services to a halt in many parts of the country and led to several deaths, health officials say.

Bernard Kerosi works as a nurse in western Kenya.

He travelled to the capital Nairobi to take part in a protest held by the Kenya National Union of Nurses on Monday (June 12).

Protesters marched to the offices of the Council of Governors (CoG) to push for the negotiated Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) meant to have been signed by the union, the national government and county governments, but was rejected by the state commission that advises on public sector pay.

"We are working under tough conditions whereby we don't have enough equipment, we don't have enough supplies, in fact we don't even have enough staff. At times, most of the times we are understaffed so in due course we get overworked," said Kerosi.

CoG, which represents the counties said it planned to challenge the government's rejection of the deal.

Return to work after CBA is signed

A nationwide doctors strike that nearly crippled the health sector ended in March after three months.

The doctors downed their tools in December demanding authorities implement a deal agreed in 2013 to give them a 150 to 180% pay rise.

Private doctors were flooded with patients during the strike, but many Kenyans were unable to afford the fees and could not get treatment.

Officials of the 26,000-member nurses union say they will not return to work until the CBA is signed.

Protests in health and education have been a major headache for the government of President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is seeking re-election when Kenya holds parliamentary and presidential elections in August.



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