Government unleash new threats to striking nurses

The government has threatened to sack striking nurses and ensure they are blacklisted from working in any public institution in future.

In a joint statement on Tuesday, Health CS Sicily Kariuki and Council of Governors chairman Wycliffe Oparanya said they have resolved to replace those who have defied a court order and presidential directive issued on February 15.

On Wednesday last week, President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered the health workers to report to work by February 15 or face dismissal.

But the nurses led by their union secretary general Seth Panyako said they will push on with their strike until their pay demands are met.

The medics are demanding the implementation of the 2017 return-to-work formula.

The industrial court suspended the strike for 60 days after the Council of Governors sought an injunction to enable both parties to negotiate.

But some nurses have refused to honour the directive from the courts saying they have to be heard by their employer.

In the statement, the government said it has embarked on remedial stop-gap measures including contracts that will ensure continued service delivery to Kenyans in order to mitigate the impact of the strike.

The government further said it will amend existing laws to provide recruitment of medical personnel on contract in emergency situations.

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