Tharaka-Nithi Governor Muthomi Njuki has asked striking nurses in his county to resume duty after agreeing to implement part of the controversial collective bargaining agreement (CBA).
Speaking to journalists in his office in Kathwana on Tuesday, Mr Njuki said he had agreed to pay annual uniform allowance of Sh50,000 and Sh10,000 monthly as risk allowance.
“I urge our nurses to resume duty because I have already promised to implement part of the CBA that has led to paralysis of the health sector,” said Mr Njuki.
However, he maintained that governors have no powers to direct the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) to implement the CBA but pledged to adhere to all directives from the commission.
The county boss said he had also updated all the pending statutory deduction remittances including those of bank loans and National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) and asked the nurses to resume work and serve the suffering patients.
“I had a sit-down with the Kenya National Union of Nurses (Knun) county officials and agreed that nurses resume duty but I am told they reported for only one day,” he said.
Mr Njuki said though he had no plans to sack the nurses, he will only pay those working.
Contacted, Knun county branch chairman Fabian Marigu said they will stay put until the SRC harmonises the entire CBA.
“We are not going back to work until SRC implements the entire CBA,” said Mr Marigu.
He added that it is not practical for any county to promise to implement the CBA without funds from SRC.
The unionist blamed the stalemate on the Council of Governors’ chairman Josphat Nanok and Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu.