Kenyan Government fires 25,000 striking nurses

Kenyan Government fires 25,000 striking nurses

The Kenyan Government has sacked 25,000 striking nurses who refused to return to work after their trade union called off the official strike.

Last week, striking Kenyan nurses defied their trade union instruction’s to return to work, after they had called off the strike due to reaching a sordid back room deal with the Government.

The nurses were unhappy that the deal included no tangible concessions, and that they had not been consulted whatsoever. After the strike was officially called off the government demanded that all striking health workers return to work with immediate effect. Tens of thousands of people defied this order and continued the strike.

It has been announced today that the government has terminated the contracts of 40,000 health service staff, including 25,000 nurses.

A government lickspittle provided the following rationale:

Quote:
“The government has taken this firm action to alleviate further suffering of innocent Kenyans. It is wrong and unethical, regardless of any disagreement, for a health profession to abscond duty and lead to the loss of life and or suffering of any patient,”

As a nurse myself, I have previously written about the issue of nurses striking – Why nurses should take industrial action

He went on to say that:

Quote:
“Any unemployed health professional should report to the nearest health facility on Friday to apply for the openings.”

The government claim that they can no longer put patients at risk because nurses are on strike. The plan to replace the 25,000 nurses, by bringing nurses out of retirement, using untrained staff, other health workers, and unpaid interns.

It is apparently wrong for a nurse not to return to work after their ‘scab’ union has called off a strike, yet it is perfectly fine for the government to not pay nurses wages that had been agreed over a year ago, and to expect nurses to work in unsafe conditions, with unsafe staffing levels.

Despite receiving news of their sacking, the Kenyan nurses have vowed to keep up the pressure on the government. Earlier today, they have marched through the centre of Nairobi, and have staged a ‘sit in’ at the Ministry of Health.

Solidarity with the sacked Kenyan Nurses!

Comments

RedEd
Mar 12 2012 01:00

Great blog post and good luck to the Kenyan nurses. They've clearly got courage and I hope they can win.