NAIROBI, Kenya Dec 18 – A strike by doctors in public health centre is set to roll into its third week 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
Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union Secretary-General Ouma Oluga argued that the health crisis is only solvable by implementing the 2013 CBA.
Oluga, maintained that they deserve the pay and pleaded with Kenyans this time round, 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 others see the lowest paid doctor pocket Sh342,000 and the highest pocket slightly over Sh940,000 away from the current remuneration of Sh500,000 for the highest paid and Sh40,000 for the lowest paid.
Union Chairman Samuel Oroko reaffirmed that they will not call off the strike until the Government takes the negotiations seriously.
He 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 Minister Phylis Kandie confirmed that the negotiations have stalled but urged the two parties to continue engaging even away from her ministry which 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 then 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,” Kandie appealed.
The contentious CBA was however suspended earlier this year, with the Employment and Labour Relations Court issued a ruling on October 6th, 2016, directing that the two parties sit and produce a negotiated CBA within 90 days.