25 September 2023

KENYA: Nurses win contracts fight

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Kenya’s National Union of Nurses (KNUN) has obtained a court order stopping the Government’s plan to employ Public Servants on contracts.

The move has angered the Chair of the Public Service Commission (PSC), Stephen Kirogo (pictured), who said the transition to contractors was essential to increase the effectiveness of the Public Service and trim the bulging wage bill.

Under the plan, individuals employed by the Government would be placed on a three-year contract and renewal would be subject to a performance evaluation.

Mr Kirogo said the Public Service was bloated and unproductive owing to the fact that most employees felt contented with being on permanent and pensionable terms, hence had less motivation to offer better service.

KNUN, which is one of the bodies that represents nurses across all Government institutions, sued the Government through the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Public Service, the PSC and the Attorney-General.

The union sought to have the court issue conservatory orders of stay suspending the implementation of the decision to introduce performance contracts and putting all PS employees under contract.

Justice Byram Ongaya ruled that all parties were to maintain the status quo “pending further orders and directions of the motion”.

Mr Kirogo said PS employees “should not rest easy” as a result of the ruling.

“We must be brutal if we want change,” Mr Kirogo said.

“It will be our meagre contribution in managing the wage bill.”

Nairobi, 15 July 2019

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