DOCTORS’ STRIKE ENDS AFTER SIGNING A BACK-TO-WORK FORMULA WITH THE COUNCIL OF GOVERNORS
Services in public hospitals in Kenya resumed after the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentist Union called off the strike on Tuesday 14th March 2017. The Union and the Council of Governors came to an agreement and signed a return to work formula marking an end to 100 days of patient’s agony.
The signing of the agreement was witnessed by the Council of Governors Chairman H.E. Peter Munya, H.E. James Ongwae Chairman Labour and Human Resources Committee, H.E. Jack Raguma Chairman Health Committee, Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu, the Principal Secretary Dr. Nicholas Muraguri and members of the clergy. Both parties agreed that no health worker would be victimized for participating in the strike that lasted for more than three months.
Monies being the major bone of contention, the meeting resolved to pay all salaries withheld in full not later than March 31st 2017. Additionally, salary increase will be paid effective January, 1st 2017. An additional doctor’s allowance will be paid to all doctors with effect from 1st January depending on job group for instance those in job group L (Medical/Dental/Pharmacist Officer Interns) will receive an additional Kshs. 36,000 as well as a medical risk allowance of Kshs. 20,000.
The agreement will also see all pending promotions enforced within six months in line with the revised scheme and placement done accordingly. Further to this, intern doctors will now be posted to their respective work places within a timeframe of 30 days after completion of their studies from recognized universities and upon recommendation by the relevant regulatory bodies.
As a sign of good faith, the National and County governments agreed to withdraw dismissal and show cause letters that had earlier been forwarded to some of the doctors for refusing to resume duty. Furthermore, both parties will withdraw all pending court cases that had been filed.
H.E Peter Munya reaffirmed the Council of Governors’ commitment to restore health services while working closely will doctors under all county governments. As a devolved function, the chairman further assured Kenyans that the Council will henceforth engage doctors in all the 47 counties to develop a workable CBA within 60 days in accordance with the Labour Relations Act.