The Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) has issued a 21-day strike notice accusing the government of failing to implement a Return to Work Formula negotiated last year.
The KNUN General Secretary, Seth Panyako made the pronouncement after a meeting by the union’s Administrative Council at the Tom Mboya College in Kisumu on Friday.
The other major grievances the nurses want addressed include better grading of nurses by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission and allegations of fraud by the union’s former Chairman, John Bii
The nurses blamed the County and National governments of failing to implement a progressive increment in allowances contained in the RTWF signed last year.
The agreement that the health workers blamed the government for failing to honour would have seen nurses’ allowances raised by between Sh.2, 000 and Sh.3, 500 staggered in three phases starting last year.
The nurses also faulted SRC and urged it to amend its grading of nurses from the category of semi-skilled and skilled employees.
“SRC must come up with a proper grading structure for the nurses of this country who are professionals and deal with delicate life and death matters while fulfilling their mandates,” Panyako said terming the continued grading of nurses as semi-skilled employees an insult.
The nurses’ union also accused unnamed forces within the government of colluding with the former Chair Bii to defraud the organization of funds with the intent to sabotage the activities of the Union.
According to the Union, Bii opened fraudulent bank accounts with ECO Bank, NIC and KCB that he purportedly used to illegally siphon money from the organization.
Panyako claimed that evidence of Bii’s alleged criminal activities, including purchase of two matatus operating in Eldoret with the proceeds of the Union were within the knowledge of the Director of Public Prosecution, Noordin Haji.
“The nurses are now demanding action from the DPP’s office not only to arrest and formerly charge Bii over the allegations but to also confiscate property suspected he dubiously acquired through the union,” he said.
By Milton Onyango