NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 15 – The Inter Religious Council and a number of Civil Society Organisations have lauded the signing of a return- to-work formula between doctors and the government ending the 100-day strike that paralysed operations in public hospitals.
A statement by religious leaders read on their behalf by Catholic Bishop Alfred Rotich indicated that Kenyans suffered during the period of the industrial action and it should never be repeated.
“The signing of the RTWF ends all the remaining contentious issues between the parties. We sincerely thank his Excellency the President Uhuru Kenyatta and all the mediators namely the Central Organisation of Trade Unions, Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, the Law Society of Kenya and the Judges of the Court of Appeal in reaching this point,” he stated.
He urged doctors to now serve the nation to the best of their ability and called on all Kenyans to embrace a renewed sense of national unity.
“We recognise the attention this industrial strike has required of our leaders in the National and County Governments. We recognise also that this prolonged strike has had its toll on the consciences and homes of our doctors,” he stated.
“As you return to our hospitals and clinics, we pray for your healing, continued professionalism and duty of care in serving Kenyans,” he said.
He underscored the need for Kenyans to embrace a sense of national unity.
“As religious leaders, we fervently pray for the full implementation of the revised CBA, the recognition agreement and the return to work formula. Our faith and resolve in Kenyans and above all the almighty God remains unshaken,” he said.
The civil society stressed the need for the national and county governments not to victimise any of the doctors who went on strike.
“While we are cognisant of the undesired consequences of the strike on our national psyche and public health system, we remain optimistic that the issues raised were pertinent enough and worth the delay,” they stated.
“We now call upon all the parties to move with speed to expedite the provisions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) and the Return To Work Formula (RTWF) and ensure that factors that led to the strike are addressed to avoid a recurrence in the future.”
The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) Secretary General Ouma Oluga stated that the union will now be seeking to mend bridges with their employer.