Nurses’ Strike that kicked off early this week has left many in agony. Some Counties have already solved the matter but some are still derailing in the agony! Does it mean that money was spent on something else? Well, Twenty-two counties that have not agreed on a return-to-work formula might have spent money meant for paying nurses’ on retreats and bonding.
They are Kisumu, Kisii, Trans Nzoia, Taita Taveta, Embu, Wajir, Marsabit, Garissa, Samburu, Kirinyaga, Busia, Meru, Narok and Bungoma. Others are Homa Bay, Tana River, Nyamira, West Pokot, Murang’a, Elgeyo Marakwet, Nakuru and Siaya.
This was revealed yesterday during a meeting between the Senate Labour and Social Welfare Committee and the Kenya National Union of Nurses officials. It was chaired by Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja.
Some might have used the money to ‘go and sun bathe in the name of bonding and retreats, they were told.
“The money that was to be paid for the nurses may have been used on other issues because where did those that have effected the deal get the money from? Kenyans are dying yet people want to play games. We wont allow that,” Sakaja said.
The nurses strike enters its fourth day today, despite the Council of Governors on Tuesday seeking to suspend the industrial action for 60-days. The nurses on Monday went on strike to demand Sh5,000 annually for uniforms and Sh3,000 per month for nursing services. Nurses get Sh20,000 as nursing service allowance, which was to be increased to Sh30,000 over three years from 2017.
The uniform allowance was to reach Sh10,000 every year by 2021. This means counties need between Sh20-30 million yearly to effect the payment.
KNUN deputy secretary general Maurice Opetu told the team it was hypocritical for CoG to go to court, because they had signed the agreement and later disowned it.
“We don’t know how they are coming into the picture. Maybe their interest is to sabotage the Big Four agenda,” Opetu said.