The Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) has softened its hardline stance amid ongoing nurses strike after they expressed readiness for fresh talks on the timelines the contentious Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) will be signed and registered but not renegotiating the deal.
Today KNUN acting chairman Joseph Ngwasi said the nurses are ready for round table talks but affirmed no negotiations can be made over the deal.
“We want to put it very clear that the union and nurses are ready for engagement but not renegotiation of the CBA. We are ready to come to the table and agree on when the CBA will be signed,” Ngwasi said.
Thousands of nurses drawn from the forty seven counties converged at Uhuru Park Grounds before they held a procession to Council of Governors headquarters in Nairobi.
The strike which is in the second month running has paralysed healthcare in public hospitals a situation likely to degenerate further after nurses declared unwillingness to resume work without a signed agreement timelines of CBA implementation.
“We are not interested in politics, our preferred candidates is the CBA. We are still appealing to President Uhuru Kenyatta that it is about time he puts the government departments and line institutions in order by convening a meeting to end this stalemate,” Ngwasi added.
The nurses’ union wants want governors to sign and register the disputed CBA but the county bosses have remained adamant arguing the deal is too costly.
“It has been very painful losing prominent leaders in this country. However, the government has done very well in attending their funerals. Who is talking on behalf of hundreds of ordinary people who are dying from Cholera, Malaria, Typhoid and other diseases?” Maurice Opetu, union acting General Secretary posed.
Dramatic scenes played out at Uhuru Park as the crowds chanted solidarity slogans and went down on their knees to intercede for the sick people they should be attending in hospitals.
Last month, religious leaders sought to intervene top end the protracted industrial dispute by nurses as neutral arbitrator through engaging the Salaries and Remuneration Commission and the Council of Governors to try and resolve the dispute to no avail.