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Striking nurses sacked as government moves to recruit new ones

03 September 2015, 21:33 Joseph Njung'eh

Nairobi - Nyeri County government has Thursday evening sacked more than 500 nurses who have been on work strike for about three weeks now.

While making the announcement, Governor Nderitu Gachagua said the nurses have also been issued with a notice to vacate government houses.

He said the health workers positions will be advertised in the dailies for recruitment of others ‘ready to work’.

The nurses boycotted work since August 17 over late payment of salaries and complaints over increment, promotion and re-designation among other issues.

“The nurses have left the government with no option but to sack them in the interest of patients who are suffering as a result of the standoff,” Gachagua observed.

Gachagua said the late payment of salaries, was occasioned by late release of funds by the National Treasury, but have since been paid while his government was still reconciling statutory deductions.

He added that annual salary increments are done automatically through the government payroll system.

“It is important to point out that out of the County Government’s total annual wage bill of KES 2.6 billion, the health sector alone takes KES 1.58 billion (60%). Out of this, the nurses take KES 660 million (41.1%) annually, with the highest paid nurse taking KES.98,500 and the lowest paid nurse KES 46,800 monthly,” said Gachagua during a press conference outside his office.

In a rejoinder, Kenya National Nurses Uniion Secretary General (KNUN) Seth Panyako has said the health workers will not resume work until all their grievances were addressed.

He condemned Governor Gachagua’s announcement stating that no nurse will lose job or vacate the government houses.

“Governors have failed the health sector and are playing politics with constituents’ lives. We are ready for dialogue but not intimidation,” Panyako said while addressing media at Ibis hotel in Nyeri town.

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