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Kenya

Striking Kiambu doctors face pay freeze

Their grievances include delayed payment of salaries, poor terms of payment and slackness in promotion of doctors/FILE

Their grievances include delayed payment of salaries, poor terms of payment and slackness in promotion of doctors/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 1 – The Kiambu County Government has threatened to withhold salaries of all doctors who fail to resume work in the ongoing strike in the county.

In a statement, Kiambu County Secretary Fredrick Kitema says the strike which started on December 18 is illegal, following an Industrial Court order dated December 23, 2014.

Kitema adds that the County Government had given the doctors a chance to dialogue but they defied and went ahead with the strike.

“The Industrial Court, having granted the union an opportunity to be heard, on 23rd December, 2014 declared the current strike unprotected, unlawful and prohibited. A copy of the court order was duly served upon the union on the 24th December, 2014,” he said.

Their grievances include delayed payment of salaries, poor terms of payment and slackness in promotion of doctors.

But the County Government says it is ready to solve the issues by the end of this month.

“Whereas there may be instances of delay, such delays do not go beyond the 5th of the subsequent month. The county through its Finance Department is working with the National Treasury to avert delays,” he assured.

On payment of arrears, the County Government has pledged to pay the affected doctors before January 10, 2015.

On Sunday, the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) threatened a nationwide strike, if the Kiambu County did not solve the issues within five days to January 3.

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Secretary General Ouma Oluga said the countrywide strike will involve doctors in public and private medical centres in support of doctors in Kiambu to ensure the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) and a 600 percent pay rise is implemented.

But the Kiambu Government says “in the event that the union wishes to continue with the threatened strike, their actions ought not to be attributed to any inaction on the part of the Kiambu County Government.”

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