Nurses have ended their five-month strike after the government agreed to raise their uniform and nursing service allowances.
The nurses called off the strike yesterday evening after a “lengthy day” of negotiations that finally yielded a deal.
“Today we decided to meet and discuss this matter and get a consensus going forward. We have a deal. We have reached a consensus between the Government of Kenya and the nurses’ union,” said Council of Governors chairman Josphat Nanok.
The nurses had embarked on a strike, fighting to be paid a risk allowance of KSh15,400 per month, extraneous allowance of KSh5,000 per month and also have their uniform allowance increased to KSh50,000 per year from the current KSh10,000.
The nurses, however, agreed to take home a uniform allowance of KSh15,000, which will be increased annually by KSh5,000 over a period of three years.
The agreed increase will come in the 2018-19 financial year to allow the government to get its house in order. This means in 2019-20 financial year, the allowance to be paid will be KSh20,000 and in the next year, KSh25,000.
For the other nursing service allowances, Nanok said the nurses will be paid KSh20,000 in the 2018-19 financial year. There will also be an increase of KSh3,500 in 2019-20 and a further KSh3,500 in 2020-21 to make it KSh27,000.
“Within 30 days of signing this agreement, the Collective Bargaining Agreement shall be concluded and signed,” Nanok added.
He further announced that all the disciplinary cases filed against the nurses will be withdrawn with all withheld salaries to be paid by the end of November and not later than December 31.
The government had threatened to sack striking nurses, saying the strike was unlawful.
Nanok, however, said that the only court case that will not be withdrawn is the one on grading structures.
He urged the union to call off the strike immediately and the nurses to report to work “immediately or not later than the close of business today”.
“I know skeleton staff have been working at respective institutions which has not been adequate. I know the gap which was left since June and foretold suffering to Kenyans, and indeed that is regrettable,” said Nanok.
Chairman of the Human Resource, Labour and Social Welfare Committee, Kisii Governor James Ongwae, said the deal would be implemented to the letter.
Health CS Cleopa Mailu said the Treasury and the Salary Regulatory Commission will be engaged to register the agreement.