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Taita Taveta Nurses may end strike on Monday by Idowu Olabode : December 24, 2016, 06:29:32 PM
Nurses in Taita Taveta may call of their strike on Monday after their union's branch officials agreed with county government on terms of returning to work on Friday night.

On Friday, the county assembly had summoned the union, Health Services officials and the County Public Service Board to appear before the House in a bid to end the strike.

In the meeting held at county assembly chambers in Wundanyi, Speaker Meshack Wa Maghanga directed the Health Services department to pay the nurses their allowances.

The Speaker also directed the County Public Service Board to promote all the nurses who are due for promotion.

"This should be done as soon as possible. We cannot allow residents to continue suffering yet we can get solutions to these grievances," he said.

He requested the Kenya National Union of Nurses (Knun) to call off the strike.

“We beg the nurses to return to work and we guarantee them that their arrears will be paid," he said.

AD HOC COMMITTEE

In the meeting that ended late Friday night, Speaker Maghanga appointed an ad hoc committee to oversee that the payment and promotion of nurses is done within four days.

The committee will be led by Budget and Appropriation chairperson, Aresmus Mwarabu.

"The committee will sacrifice to meet even during the Christmas holiday because we want quick solutions," he said.

Knun county secretary Boniface Mrashui said the strike could not be called off immediately until their national secretary general, Seth Panyako, gives them the go ahead.

"I don't have powers to call off the strike. I will inform my union's secretary general on these developments and I will give this House his feedback," he told the county assembly.

The House ordered the county Health Services executive to pay the striking nurses their unpaid allowances.

HEALTH BUDGET INCREASE

"This House has never slashed the Health Services budget. In fact in this year's budget the CEC had requested an increase of Sh12 million meant to cater for overtime [for] nurses. I am surprised that the nurses have not been paid yet we approved a one year budget for this," said Kaloleni Ward representative Omar Ahmed.

On the other hand, the assembly's majority leader, Cromwel Baridi, accused the county government of misusing funds to hold parties instead of channelling them to development projects.

"Today the executive is holding an end-of-year party yet our people are dying for lack of medical services. It is surprising to see while we are here putting our heads together to get a solution of this stalemate some people are merrymaking,"

"The county government is complaining it does not have funds to pay nurses yet they are holding end-of-year parties. They should be ashamed of this act because it means they don't care about the suffering residents," said the majority leader.

Finance executive, Dr Vincent Masawi, assured the house that the unpaid nurses’ allowances will be included in their December salaries.

He said the nurses could have received their pay were it not for the breakdown of Ifmis in the country.

"The payroll manager has already confirmed that the nurses will be paid their dues. We beg for patience," he said.

Source : The Nation

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