Top Stories / National
Sunday, 18 Dec 2016 17:33 EAT
The strike by doctors in public hospitals has entered its third week today after talks failed to resolve the 12-day old dispute with the government over the implementation of a 300 per cent pay increase contained in a Collective Bargaining Agreement signed in 2013. The Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union Secretary General Ouma Oluga maintained that the health crisis can only be resolved if the government immplements the 2013 CBA.
Dr Oluga stated that doctors deserve the pay and pleaded with Kenyans to think of the doctors’ plight. “The doctors have waited for three and half years for the implementation of the CBA, all that we are looking for is still the implementation, and so far we have not yet reached there, we don’t even have a road-map,” he told journalists after they walked out of negotiations chaired by Labour Cabinet Secretary Phylis Kandie.
Implementation of the agreement will among other gains see the lowest paid doctor pocket Sh342,000 and the highest pocket slightly over Sh940,000, compared to the current remuneration of Sh500,000 for the highest paid and Sh40,000 for the lowest paid. Union Chairman Samuel Oroko who accompanied the Secretary General reaffirmed that they will not call off the strike until the government takes the negotiations seriously. Dr Oroko said the country, which already has a shortage of doctors, risks losing out more if the government continues to take the profession for granted.
Labour Cabinet Secretary Phylis Kandie confirmed that the negotiations have stalled but urged the two parties to continue engaging even away from her ministry which is the mediator. She said on the other hand, their negotiations was “cordial” and they hope to resume their talks as soon as the two parties are ready. “The two have to sit down and iron it out for them to take that CBA to be registered by the court. Unless they do that, the courts will not register it, so that is where the stalemate is, and we have been trying to really urge the two to breach that gap,” Ms Kandie appealed.
The contentious CBA was however suspended earlier this year, with the Employment and Labour Relations Court issuing a ruling on October 6th, 2016, directing that the two parties sit and produce a negotiated CBA within 90 days.