The Kenya National Union of Nurses has vowed to carry on with the countrywide strike starting on Monday next week.
Secretary general Seth Panyako has dismissed the dialogue efforts by labour CS Ukur Yatani, saying the union has not been invited to any talks.
Yatani had on Friday formed a conciliation team led by Harun Mwaura to help arbitrate the industrial dispute between the nurses and the county governments.
“The dialogue efforts are aimed at ensuring that the service provision in public hospitals are not paralysed. We expect all the parties to engage in good faith,” he said.
But Panyako told the Star the phone on Friday that the last-ditch efforts are diversionary.
“I’m not aware of any of such efforts. The strike is on,” he said.
The CS is aware that we signed the CBA in November 2017 after five months strike. He is also aware that we have not been paid the agreed money. All this while, even after issuing the initial strike notice on December 9, he has been quiet, he said.
“He is then inviting us for purported talks on Friday when our strike is on Monday,” he said.
Panyako said the issues of contention are not up for any negotiation since they are straightforward.
“We have had enough negotiations with the government over these issues. It is now time for implementation,” he said.
He said the Controller of Budget had increased allocation to the counties but they are deliberately refusing to pay nurses.
On Saturday, the Star exclusively reported about an advisory to the Council of Governors not to increase nurses pay for fear of a ripple effect among workers in other sectors.
The three-member conciliation committee formed by the CS Yatani will have Abisai Ambenje and Benson Okwara as members.
The two will represent Federation Kenyan Employers and COTU respectively.
The union called a strike starting February 4 affecting 23 counties.
The nurses are accusing the county governments of failure to implement the comprehensive return to work agreement they signed in November 2017.
The strike will affect Nairobi, Kisumu, Homa Bay, Muranga, Kisii, Embu, Kiambu, Garissa and Elgeyo Marakwet, Kirinyaga, Marsabit, Nyandarua and Nyeri.
Others are Samburu, Elgeyo Marakwet, Trans Nzoia, Tharaka Nithi, West Pokot, Kitui, Wajir, Kwale, Mandera and Taita Taveta.
Some 21 others have shown interest in fulfilling the CBA. Only three counties Machakos, Mombasa and Migori will not be affected by the strike.