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Appeals Court to give directions on doctors strike Thursday

This is after the team led by the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights and Law Society of Kenya filed a progress report with the Court on Wednesday/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 23 – The mediation team on the doctors’ strike will Thursday morning appear before the Appeals Court to seek further directions and orders on the strike that is currently in its third month.

This is after the team led by the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights and Law Society of Kenya filed a progress report with the Court on Wednesday.

The two organisations have been spearheading the talks and the co-chairs revealed that there was progress in various aspects of the dispute.

They explained that there are certain issues still pending and the parties have taken a short recess to consider their respective positions.

On Wednesday former Principal Secretary Mark Bor confirmed that he signed the controversial Collective Bargaining Agreement with doctors after he had already left office in June 2013.

Bor told a joint sitting of House Committees on Labour and Social Welfare and that of Health that he was asked by the then Health Cabinet Secretary James Macharia to sign the document to pave way for the doctors to negotiate a final document with the government.

His signature was to symbolise that the government had agreed to increase salaries for doctors, dentists and other medical professionals.

Bor claimed the new team at the ministry wanted a working document to guide them because the doctors union had started shifting stands arrived at the talks at the time, while insisting it was an interim document that was to guide negotiations at a later stage.

The CBA signed by the government and former KMPDU Secretary General Sultani Matendechero and Chairman Victor Ng’ani on June 27, 2013 would see a 187 per cent pay hike for all medical practitioners.

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The agreement also included a review of job groups, promotions, deployment as well as the annual recruitment of 1,200 doctors to reduce the doctor-patient ratio.

The joint House Committee chairpersons David Were and Rachael Nyamai declared Bor a hostile witness for failing to cooperate with them and ordered him to leave the mini-chambers

The fate of the talks now hangs in the balance after Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu ruled out further negotiations based on the flawed document but the doctors’ union led by their officials Samuel Oroko and Ouma Oluga insisted that “they will not negotiate anything outside of the 2013 CBA.”

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