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We Will Not Join Doctors Strike, We Believe In Diplomacy, Nurses SG Panyako Announces

The medics through the umbrella body Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) said they will not give in to pressure to down their tools since the government has already shown goodwill by engaging the union concerning pressing issues.

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KNUN Secretary General Seth Panyako.

Kenyan nurses have maintained they are on duty and will not join the ongoing countrywide strike by doctors and clinicians.

The medics through the umbrella body Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) said they will not give in to pressure to down their tools since the government has already shown goodwill by engaging the union concerning pressing issues.

The union stated its position after a meeting of the National Executive Council. KNUN Secretary General Seth Panyako told journalists that the meeting was called to address issues of Collective Bargaining Agreement signing, Interns posting and stipend payment and UHC nurses’ absorption.

“With regards to the current disruptions in the Health Sector in the country pertaining to the posting of interns and the absorption of UHC employees to Permanent and Pensionable Terms, the Kenya National Union of Nurses has been keen on handling the issues with relevant institutions” he said.

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“Therefore, it is important to note that, despite the demands from pre-nursing interns, the union has not issued a strike notice yet as we believe in diplomacy and alternative dispute resolution mechanisms” he added.

While reading their resolutions after wider consultations with their officials drawn from across the country, Panyako emphasized that the issues are pertinent and need immediate action.

The union expressed optimism with ongoing negotiations. “There is good progress at both levels of government towards signing the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the union, and they are planning for a meeting next week for conclusion” he said.

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The statement also signed by the National Chairman and Treasurer urged pre-nurse interns to remain patient as the officials deal with the issue of their posting and review of stipend payment to conform with the Schemes of Service.

“Additionally, we will proceed to take other legal measures, if need be, in relation to the circular that reduced the intern’s pay from the previous job group K to a lower stipend pay” the union assured.

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“ To make this process more open, effective and efficient, we ask the nurse interns and UHC nurses to appoint two representatives each, to accompany us to MOH for our forthcoming meeting” he said.

Panyako further welcomed a move by the government to approve the employment of UHC nurses into Permanent and Pensionable terms effective 1 June 2024.

“Through our engagement, the government has agreed to hire more nurses and other health workers”, he said.

However, the union is urging the two levels of Government to immediately pay the March 2024 salary and release all pending statutory and third-party deductions.

The latest development comes hot on the heels of a government offer aimed at ending a week-long doctors strike that has severely disrupted health services in public hospital.

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The Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU) has turned down the Ksh 2.4B offer.

State House Chief of Staff and Head of the Public Service Felix Koskei on Tuesday announced that the monies will allow for the posting of all eligible medical student interns, inviting those eligible to pick letters from Thursday.

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