Kenya National Union of Nurses is accusing some officers of the county governments of using intimidation and coercion to force striking nurses on contract back to work.
“We are informed that there exists a contract barring contract nurses from joining and taking part in activities and programs of the union,” the Kenya National Union of Nurses statement read in part.
KNUN General Secretary Seth Panyako in view of the above strongly advised members not to heed to these threats to report on duty as every person employed for wages or salary is recognized in law as an employee.
Panyako further went ahead to say that the same law confers the right for employees to join and participate in activities of a trade union including going on strike.
“As a union, we will not condone any acts that put nurses under employment terms that deprive them of their legal and constitutional rights,” said Panyako.
This comes as striking health workers have vowed that they will not be intimidated by court orders being sought by counties to resume work.
The health workers say instead of coercion those concerned should seek dialogue and address their demands.
The striking medics vowed to soldier on with their strike that entered its fourth day Thursday as the Council of Governors pleaded with them to resume duty and allow their unions to negotiate for their demands with concerned authorities.
The CoG Chair Wycliffe Oparanya in a statement urged the healthcare workers to understand the prevailing circumstances that are being faced globally, nationally and at the county level.
“Most of the issues raised by the unions are specific to certain counties. We urge the health workers’ unions to resolve the issues with the concerned counties,” Oparanya said.
“The four issues that cut across the 47 counties namely conversion of all contractual employment to permanent and pensionable terms, enhancement or risk allowance, declaration of Covid-19 as a work occupational health hazard and establishment of a health service commission are currently being addressed by a multi-agency committee,” Oparanya added.
Nurses and clinicians have however vowed not to go back to work until both levels of government commit to continuously and consistently provide throughout the pandemic.
“We were supposed to have a conciliatory meeting to discuss the way forward but the CoG sent very junior officials. Another meeting was scheduled on Wednesday but both the CoG and the National treasury officials were a no show,” KNUN and the Kenya Union of Clinical Officers officials said.
The Amani Nation Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi is urging concerned authorities to listen to the plea of the striking medics and the nation to get its priorities right.