Sat. Feb 16th, 2019

Sonko warns to sack Nairobi nurses over planned strike

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has warned that the county will sack nurses who will participate in the planned December 10 strike.

The nurses’ union issued a 21-day strike notice Monday citing nonpayment of service and uniform allowances.

Clinical Officers, on the other hand, are protesting against NHIF policies, which they say limit their scope of service provision.

Sonko told journalists on Wednesday the strike call is illegal ‘as the county had complied with the signed CBA’.

The governor said he is in the process of hiring new nurses and whoever participates in the planned boycott will go home.

“We have a good working relationship with them and I’m not intimidating them, but if they strike, I will sack them. I do not want to go through that route,” he said.

“We have the capacity of hiring private nurses, but with the working relationship we have, I’ sure they will not engage in the strike.”

Sonko said nurses “will be charged with murder” if any patient dies in the wake of the strike. He said the nurses’ increment will be in this month’s salary.

“The chief officer has drafted a letter to the union that we are complying with and if they participate (in the strike), it will be illegal,” Sonko said. 

Kenya Union of Nurses secretary general Seth Panyako said the strike will be to push for implementation of a return-to-work formula signed in November last year.

“We have made several attempts through correspondence to your offices, including requesting a meeting, but to date, nothing tangible has been forthcoming,” he said.

In the return-to-work formula signed on November 2, 2017, the national and county governments agreed to increase the nurses’ service allowance by Sh10,000 in three phases.

They were to get an increase of Sh3,000 in the 2018-19 financial year, Sh3,500 in the 2019-20 financial year and Sh3,500 in 2020-21.