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Kenyan Nurses Continue 5-Week Strike - News - Nurses Arena Forum

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Kenyan Nurses Continue 5-Week Strike by katty : July 13, 2017, 02:04:24 PM
Kenyan nurses decided to continue a five-week strike Wednesday as a deal between unions and the government was yet to be signed. Medical services around the country have been hampered by the stoppage as nurses demand a pay raise to compensate for increased workloads over the past few years.

The nationwide strike has been organized by the National Union of Nurses. Though union leaders and county governors have already agreed to a deal, the collective bargaining agreement was rejected by a state commission, which argued that it was unaffordable.

France 24 reports that the government has tried to keep current salaries frozen in order to invest more in development projects and combat unemployment which has risen to 40 percent. On Monday, less than a month before presidential elections, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and other top officials agreed to have their salaries reduced.

However, striking nurse Caroline Adewla is unconvinced. She said that her colleagues will continue to demonstrate but are “ready to go on duty because our patients are suffering.” Adewla emphasized that the nurses, having been on strike for over a month, are unwilling to return to the negotiating table.

Union members demonstrating held a sign that read, “We Dare to Care.”

Only months ago, doctor union leaders who organized nationwide strikes were jailed. After refusing to return to work for 100 days, their pay raise demands were met by the government.

Nurse union leaders say that they'd prefer to be taken to jail than forced to renegotiate a pay raise with the state commission.

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