Kenya health workers strike despite court order

Medics launch action over 2013 deal with government on pay, conditions

Kenya health workers strike despite court order

World Bulletin / News Desk

Thousands of health workers went on strike across Kenya on Monday in a bid to get the government to implement a 2013 agreement to improve pay and conditions.

Around 5,000 doctors, nurses, pharmacists, dentists and other health staff took part in industrial action. Police tear gassed one group of protesters outside the Ministry of Health offices in Nairobi as others disrupted transport in the city’s business district.

They are demanding a 300 percent pay rise as well as a review of promotions and deployments promised under a collective bargaining agreement reached three-and-a-half years ago.

“We want to urge all members of the public to immediately make plans to evacuate their patients from public health facilities,” Seth Panyakoo, secretary general of the Kenyan National Union of Nurses, said.

“We will not go back to work unless everything that is in the agreement is implemented. Nothing will stand between doctors and the CBA implementation -- not a jail term nor a court order.”

A 21-day strike notice issued last month expired on Monday. On Friday, the Employment and Labor Relations Court issued an order halting industrial action but this was widely ignored.

Checks on hospitals in Nairobi by Anadolu Agency found them largely deserted.

At the Mathari Hospital -- the country’s only mental health facility -- more than 100 patients escaped as staff joined the strike.

Last Mod: 05 Aralık 2016, 16:11
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