Court stops nurses strike threatening health sectors countrywide

Friday, December 18th, 2020 00:00 |
Nurses demonstrate.

The High Court yesterday suspended the ongoing nurses strike to give room for negotiations between the government and the unions.

However, Justice Nzioki wa Makau said the suspension is temporary and will be reviewed on December 30 when the matter comes up for mention. 

“That a temporary relief be and is hereby issued of suspending the strike for 14 days to allow negotiations before the mention on December 30, 2020 to see if parties are able to agree on this single issue which should not bar the respondents members from rendering services,” read the orders.

The orders came even as the nurses and clinicians persisted for the 12th day, paralysing health sector countrywide.

In Busia, Deputy Governor Moses Mulomi yesterday instructed all Doctors, Laboratory technologists who had not issued a strike notice to report on duty immediately.

He said the health workers including UHC personnel should return to work to provide services to the locals who have been suffering due to the ongoing strike.

“Most of our health facilities have not offered services since nurses and clinical officers went on strike,” he said. 

The county, he said, was committed to address grievances raised by the health workers, noting that most of the demands raised are supposed to be handled by the national government. 

“We still appeal to the striking nurses and clinical officers to return to work as their issues are being addressed.”

In Makueni, nurses camped outside Governor Kivutha Kibwana’s office demanding for promotions, PPEs and employment on permanent terms.   

Facilities grounded

Addressing the press, Kenya National Union of Nurses (Knun) chair Muriuki Muruathika appealed to the county government to listen to the nurse’s pleas.

“Nurses have stagnated in one job group for at least three or four years and when promoted there are no arrears.

We are wondering why the bottlenecks and the government has enough resources.

Since 2014 the county government has been employing nurses on contract while our counterparts in Kitui and Machakos are recruited on a permanent basis.”

As at yesterday, services at the health facilities in the county remained grounded after nurses and clinical workers joined the country wide strike that kicked off last week. 

The situation was the same in Siaya as the health workers vowed to keep off hospitals until demands were addressed. Knun national deputy secretary general Austin Oduor, Knun Siaya branch secretary Sylvester Ng’anda Ochieng and his KUCO, Siaya branch counterpart Kennedy Opiyo Omondi said the indefinite strike will push on. 

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