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"Strike has been called off" - Maurice Opera, "Strike still on" - Seth Panyako - News - Nurses Arena Forum

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"Strike has been called off" - Maurice Opera, "Strike still on" - Seth Panyako by katty : December 11, 2016, 11:14:38 PM
The strike by nurses has been called off after the Ministry of Health and the union signed a Sh7 billion agreement.

The deal between Kenya National Union of Nurses (Knun) and the ministry will see nurses receive allowances of between Sh15,000 to Sh20,000, depending on their job group.

The return-to-work deal signed on Sunday in Nairobi follows week-long negotiations between the ministry and Knun following the nationwide strike that started on December 5.

Knun deputy general-secretary Maurice Opetu asked all nurses in the country to “report back for duty immediately.”

He added: “I am happy to announce that this afternoon, we have concluded and signed the agreement. All members of the National Governing Council are hereby invited tomorrow for the ratification of the agreement.”

Mr Opetu said they were working with set timelines to have the agreement signed at the Council of Governors offices in Nairobi on December 14.

“The union will also formulate a 2017-2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) which will be signed and registered in court within 60 days effective from January 1, 2017,” said the official.

In attendance at Afya House was Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu, Kisii Governor James Ongwae and other government representatives.

Dr Mailu lauded the nurses for “showing leadership” in solving the health crisis and urged striking doctors to follow suit and give dialogue a chance for their grievances to be addressed.

He added: “We have given them an offer and it has not been responded to. We expect a response and continuation of dialogue.”

Also present was the Knun chairman John Bii who said they were ready to go back to work for the sake of Kenyans especially in light of the Cholera outbreak in Tana River and the Naivasha tragedy.

The vocal general-secretary of the nurses union, Mr Seth Panyako, was conspicuously absent. However, Mr Panyako, when contacted maintained that the strike was still on and only talks with the National Governing Council would determine the status of the strike.

Mr Panyako questioned why other negotiators were left out when they were going to meet with the government.


He alleged that the officials had been given money to call off the strike and that only the NGC could end the boycott, after examining the offered deal, and not the officials.

“After negotiation they were supposed to bring and we subject whatever the agreement to the national governing council before we sign and call of the strike. It is the council that calls off the strike not the three,” he said.

He said the Knun national chairman John Bii, deputy secretary Maurice Opetu and the Assistant Chief Trustee Ms Alice Oreng were not mandated to sign any agreements binding the union on the issue of the strike.

Mr Panyako alleged that the three were given money by Deputy President, William Ruto to call off the strike.

“Three out of seven officials have decided to go ahead and declare the struck has been called off when they do not have the mandate to do so. I want the whole county to know that the strike is still on until the National Governing Council decides otherwise,” said Mr Panyako.

He alleged that Mr Bii had wanted to be the general secretary for years.

“We are going to kick him out of the Union, he cannot purport to be representing nurses yet he has personal interest. Do you think the national government will take us serious next time we want to go on strike,” asked Mr Panyako.

Mr Panyako adds “This is our live and we were going to fight it once and for all if they make a mistake of taking money then they call off the strike, then they must be very ready to face the consequences.”

Source : Daily Nation

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