The Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) and the Government have reached a deal that will see the basic pay for the medics go up by between 25 and 40 per cent. This means that in the new pay structure, the lowest earning nurse in Job group G will have their basic salary increased from the current Sh16,692 to Sh23,369.

The maximum pay in this job group has been raised from the current Sh21,304 to Sh29,826 per month. The minimum pay in the highest Job Group R is to be raised from the current Sh109,089 to Sh136,361 per month while the maximum pay in this job group is up from the current Sh144,928 to Sh181,160.

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The deal was agreed between the Ministry of Health and KNUN but awaits official signing before it is implemented. The increases are to be implemented in one phase and will be backdated to July last year. Regarding House allowance, nurses will get different amounts depending on their job groups and where they work but overall, nurses will have between Sh3,500 and Sh15,000 per month added to their current house allowances. In the deal, nurses will also receive Sh50,000 per year to cover for cost of purchase of uniform as well as maintenance. In addition, health risk allowance goes up from the current Sh3,850 to Sh5,000. Nurses will also see an increase in their extraneous allowance by Sh5,000 per month in all job groups.

Currently, the lowest cadre nurses receive Sh15,000 per month while the highest gets Sh35,000 per month. This will now be increased to Sh20,000 and Sh40,000 respectively. For the first time, nurses will also get a non-practicing allowance of between Sh6,000 and Sh20,000 per month depending on their job groups as well as a Call allowance of Sh5,000 and Sh12,000 per month depending on whether they work in urban, rural or hardship areas. In addition, nurses will have a monthly commuter allowance raised from the current range of Sh4,000 to 14,000 per month to between Sh15,000 and Sh25,000. The medics will also get a responsibility allowance applicable to those who are doubling up as administrators or those in charge of health facilities. They will get Sh5,000 per month or 10 percent of basic salary, whichever is higher. According to the CBA, guidelines will be put in place to administer this allowance.

Further, whenever nurses are transferred from one workstation to another, they will be entitled to be paid at the rate of one month’s basic salary. This applies when the new workstation is more than 40 kilometers from the current working station. This workstation is to be enjoyed by 29,000 nurses who are still in the payroll of the Public Service Commission, some of whom are deemed to have been seconded to the counties. KNUN Secretary General Seth Panyako said Sunday the union is negotiating a separate deal for thousands of nurses who have been employed by county governments. The negotiations are being handled through the Council of Governors. “We are calling on the government to move with speed and call us to sign the Collective Bargaining Agreement so that nurses can start earning their hard-earned salaries and benefits,” he said Sunday.

Nurses had threatened to go on strike if their grievances were not addressed. Apart from pay rise, the nurses were also demanding that their colleagues who are on the contract be employed permanently.

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