, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 6 – Striking doctors have rejected a Sh4 billion offer by the government saying that the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) signed in 2013 forms the basis of their industrial action.
Speaking after a National Advisory Council meeting Friday morning, the doctors stated that the issue of discussion is neither the increase nor decrease of allowances.
Consultation Physician and Cardiologist at the Kenyatta National Hospital Elijah Ogolla indicated that the union can only negotiate on the basis of the CBA.
“Considering what we have been told was the government’s offer, we wish to reiterate that we support the position of the Union which is that of doctors that the issue of discussion is not increase in salaries or allowances for that matter, it is implementation of the CBA,” he said.
His sentiments were echoed by his colleague David Kimani who is a consultant Surgeon at the KNH.
“The government signed a document remember we are calling it collective between them and the doctors, it was bargained and agreed and that is what we are sticking to,” he stated.
The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) Secretary General Ouma Oluga however stated that the strike was still on, although doctors were open for further engagements with the government.
“We called our members and there have been consultations that have been going on with our members who are particularly very appreciative of the President for opening the negotiations. We have consulted our members and they have talked to you and that is all that we can talk about as leaders,” he said.
Following the meeting, the doctors’ union officials proceeded to the Treasury for further talks seeking to unlock the stalemate.
In an earlier meeting chaired by President Kenyatta at State House Mombasa, it was agreed that the entry point of doctors would be enhanced from Job Group L to M, and salaries raised to Sh196,000 from the current Sh140,244.
At the same time, doctors in Job Group M to P will get Sh72,000 from Sh30,000 while those in Job Group Q will take home Sh80,000 from the current Sh30,000.
The government also offered a new risk allowance at a flat rate of Sh10,000 a month.
The Mombasa meeting was attended by the Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich, his Health Ministry counterpart Cleopa Mailu, the Salaries and Remuneration Commission Chairperson Sarah Serem and the Chairperson of the Public Service Commission Margaret Kobia.
The team from the doctors’ union was had been accompanied by a legal representative.