The Secretary General of the Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) announced on Monday, February 4, that nurses in at least 11 counties across the country have launched an indefinite strike. According to the union, the affected counties include Kisumu, Nyeri, West Pokot, Taita Taveta, Kitui, Trans Nzoia, Elgeyo Marakwet, Wajir, Nyandarua, Kisii, and Nairobi. KNUN leaders launched the strike after county governors delayed implementing a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) signed in November 2017. Significant disruptions to health services are expected at all health facilities in the affected counties. Associated protests are also possible.
KNUN leaders also announced that nurses in Kiambu, Marsabit, and Homa Bay counties will join the strike on Wednesday, February 6, and in Kwale, Garissa, Samburu, Embu, and Kirinyaga counties on Monday, February 11, if governors fail to address their demands. The strike will also expand to Murang’a, Busia, Nakuru, and Siaya counties on Monday, February 18, if the situation does not change.
The 2017 agreement signed between KNUN and the government came into effect on November 2. Under the CBA, nurses were expected to receive service and uniform allowances. The Cabinet Secretary for Labour and Social Protection asked the union to suspend the strike on February 3, stating that a conciliation committee has been created to file a report within 30 days.
ndividuals in Kenya are advised to avoid any demonstrations due to the potential for violence, to confirm medical appointments, and to anticipate severely reduced services and long waiting times at hospitals.
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