Kenyatta National Hospital Employees Threaten Strike Amidst CBA Dispute


Just days following the resolution of the doctors’ strike at the Kenyatta National Hospital, another storm brews as all employees of the country’s national hospital have issued a seven-day strike notice.

All staff members, represented by the Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotels, Educational Institutions, Hospitals and Allied Workers Union (KUDHEIHA), demanded the signing of a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) for the period 2021-2025 by the Ministry of Labour within ten days, threatening to halt operations if their demands were not met.

The ultimatum arose amidst dissatisfaction over the delay in the signing of the collective bargaining agreement. Should the agreement fail to materialise by the 17th of this month, the employees are prepared to take industrial action, on Monday, May 10.

Union Secretary General Albert Njeru while speaking to the press on Friday, May 10, pointed to the urgency of the situation, stating, “If the Kenya International Hospital, the Ministry of Labour, the Ministry of Health, and Kenyatta National Hospital, will not have solved our problem of negotiating a collective bargaining agreement for the year 2021-25 by Friday, then it means Kenyatta National Hospital employees, all of them… will not be working starting Monday, the 20th exactly at 7 am.”

An image of nurses at the Kenyatta National Hospital IDU-Unit based at Mbagathi participating in a Zumba class on 28th May 2020.

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KNH

Kenyatta National Hospital is the country’s biggest hospital, with a bed capacity of 1,800, over 6,000 staff members, 50 wards, 22 out-patient clinics, 24 theatres (16 specialized), and an Accident & Emergency Department.

This looming strike notice comes hot on the heels of another ultimatum issued by the Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) to the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) regarding the implementation of a Collective Bargaining Agreement signed in 2017.

KNUN Secretary-General Seth Panyako warned of a possible strike should the CBA remain unimplemented, underscoring the frustration within the healthcare sector over prolonged disputes.

Panyako criticised the government’s inconsistency in employee engagements, accusing it of unilateral decision-making without consulting nurse leaders.

The lack of consultation regarding changes in salaries has further strained relations between the government and healthcare workers.

Notably, this development unfolds just days after the resolution of a 56-day strike by the Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists Dentists Union (KMPDU). 

The return-to-work agreement between the government and striking doctors was reached following a 48-hour deadline set by the Employment and Labour Relations Court. Failure to reach an agreement would have seen the court intervene to resolve the impasse.

Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha, and KMPDU Sec Gen Davji Atellah sign a return to work formula on May 8, 2024

Photo

Ministry of Health



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