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Council of Governors statement on Nurses strike 7th June 2017

New Press1.The Council of Governors is saddened by the fact that in many counties, members of the Nurses Union have withdrawn their services from public health facilities. This has occasioned untold suffering and death of many innocent Kenyans.

2.As the strike rages, the Kenya National Union of Nurses has not registered a dispute with any of the 47 County governments who are employers of the Nurses. Further, no County government received any legal notice of the impending industrial action. The Union having not done so and not followed industrial relations procedures in relation to disputes renders the strike action illegal.

3.Further, the Nurses have gone on strike prematurely as the negotiations to conclude a CBA were at an advanced stage and are yet to be concluded. Fruitful negotiations can only be concluded once the Nurses report back to work.

4.The Council of remains committed in good faith to the finalization of the CBA and will adhere to the direction given by the Salaries and Remuneration commission.

5.The Council of Governors has sought the intervention of the Cabinet Secretary in Charge of Labour to facilitate conciliation between County governments and the Nurses Union. We are Confident that the process led by the Cabinet Secretary in Charge of Labour will come up with an amicable solution.

6.The Union should see sense and resume negotiations to ensure conclusion of the CBA. We ask our colleagues who are members of the Nurses Union to resume their duties to ensure that Kenyans continue to access health services.

7.Kenyans should continue to access health services at County health facilities even as the Nurses Union agitates for better terms and conditions of service.

8.The Council assures Kenyans that County governments have put in place measures to mitigate the effects and eventually end the strike.

9.On a related issue, the Division of Revenue Bill 2017 has had disagreements resulting into a back and forth between the two Chambers of Parliament relating to allocation for County governments.

10.Before the collapse of the mediation process the Council of Governors had proposed an allocation of KES. 323 Billion for Counties, Senate had proposed an allocation of KES. 314 Billion, the National Assembly proposed KES.291 Billion. However, the National Assembly has republished the Bill and retained KES. 291 Billion as the allocation for County Governments.

11.The proposal by the Council and Senate has provision for money allocated for negotiated salary adjustment for health workers to be KES. 10.3 Billion. However, the proposed allocations are yet to be passed by both chambers of Parliament. This means that County governments cannot afford any further increments to remuneration for health workers.

12.It is important to note that County governments have made increments of KES. 3,474,144,000.00 to Nurses to be paid every financial year.

13.The financial implication of the current draft CBA is KES. 40,366,442,400.00 over a period of four years which is around KES. 10B per year which is unstainable bearing in mind that there are other health workers and other sectors delivering services at the County.

Thank you

H.E. Hon. Josphat Nanok
Chairman Council of Governors

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