The Seventh Devolution Conference opened in Sagana, Nyeri County, Monday with a call to hire nurses on contract and punish those who are yet to report back to work.
Governors resolved to punish nurses who failed to report to duty by February 15 as ordered by President Uhuru Kenyatta and the courts.
President Kenyatta ordered nurses across 18 counties to return to work last month and directed all county chiefs to sack those who defied the directive by Friday 15th February.
The nurses went on strike in January to demand the implementation of a collective bargaining agreement signed last November.
“Disciplinary proceedings be instituted in accordance with the existing regulations by both levels of Government where nurses failed to report on duty by Friday, 15th February 2019 as directed,” read a joint statement issued by Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki.
The county chiefs further agreed that future recruitment of nurses be done on contractual terms under a policy to be developed by the Public Service Commission.
Treasury and the Salaries and Remuneration Commission have so far ruled out salary increments saying there is no money even as thousands of Kenyans continue to suffer at public hospitals.
“The Summit expressed deep concern over the evolving industrial action taken by nurses in the health sector and underscored the importance of lasting solutions to the unrest,” reads the joint statement in part.
On Monday, the national and county government co-ordinating summit undertook to enhance consultation, cooperation and coordination in the search between the two levels of government.