Nurses in Tana River County have called off a strike that kicked off last Thursday after the county government failed to honour an agreement to pay them enhanced allowances .
The suspension of the strike follows a series of meetings between officials of the Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN), Tana River branch, the County Public Service Board and representatives of the County government.
The latest meeting was held Tuesday at the County Public Service Board offices and was chaired by board chairman Adan Bere and attended by Health Chief Officer Hussein Komoro and the union officials.
Announcing the end of the strike, KNUN branch secretary Damon Kwaraa said their employer had acceded to their demands for the payment of allowances and promotions hence there was no reason to continue with the strike.
“I confirm that the County Government of Tana River started paying the nursing service allowance from yesterday (Monday) and that the referral allowances that have not been paid for the last eight months will be paid tomorrow,” he said.
Mr. Kwaraa, who is the union’s national assistant secretary, said the county government had also agreed to promote nurses who were due for promotions as long as they (nurses) submit relevant academic documents and testimonials.
He urged his colleagues who had not submitted the documents to do so to enable the board to start effecting the promotions.
The nurses went on strike in solidarity with their colleagues country-wide to force the government to pay them the allowances and effect promotions.
In February last year, Tana River County Governor Hussein Dado had to personally intervene to end a strike after he ordered the promotions of more than 120 health workers, including 46 nurses.
The county government also agreed to sign a recognition agreement with the union, pay the nursing service allowances and promote those it had left out.
However, the county government only signed the recognition agreement and reneged on the other promises, hence the strike that began on Friday last week.
The resumption of services will come as a relief to patients, most of who had been discharged to seek medical attention elsewhere following the strike.