Busia nurses issues a four-day strike notice over delayed payments
Saturday, March 18, 2023
By Absalom Namwalo/Peter Okeka
Over 545 nurses in Busia County have issued a four-day strike notice to the county government over delayed payments and unfulfilled promotion promises.
Speaking to the press after a consultative meeting with health officials in the county, the Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) Busia branch chairman David Busolo cited lack of communication as the main reason as to why they decided to address the issue publicly.
“We have not been given a reason as to why our workers have not received their salaries till now. No one is available to give us any explanation,” stated Busolo.
Busolo added that the county government has a tendency of waiting until they go on strike before they address their concerns.
“Nursing constitute 60 per cent of health services. It is therefore imperative that structures be put up to ensure health services are not disrupted at all cost,” added Busolo.
The union has also decried non-payment of salaries for some members, timely payment and harmonization of allowances, promotion and re-designation of deserving members.
According to KNUN Branch Secretary General James Opodo Emusugot, the delayed payments have inconvenienced workers who could not meet their financial responsibilities and fend for their families.
“Some of our nurses have received eviction notices for defaulting on house rent. Some have lacked bus fare to come to work since they have not received their salaries,” stated Opodo.
The union asked the County government to give priority to Universal Health Coverage officers in their next recruitment of nurses and other health workers to assure residents of quality and universal health services.
The unions said they were willing to enter into dialogue with the government but if they failed to reach any meaningful agreement, they would have no option but to down tools until their needs were met.
“We want the governor to come out and address this mess as residents of Busia need services,” added Opondo.