Fellow Kenyans; since the commencement of an illegal strike by a large section of the membership of the Kenya Medical Doctors, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) serving within the Public Sector, the Government of Kenya has made strenuous efforts to amicably resolve the ongoing impasse.
This matter has been in discussion, for the last three months’, even as late as yesterday evening, where His Excellency the President and a number of governors together with religious leaders were in discussion till late into the night.
The dispute has been before the Courts; which declared the ongoing Strike as illegal and ordered the Doctors Union Members to return to work.
Those orders were flagrantly violated by the leadership and members of the Union; leading to the Employment and Labour Relations Court (ELRC) extending the room for compliance numerous times. Eventually, and in order to uphold the sanctity of the Rule of Law, the leaders of the Union were committed to Civil Jail for Contempt of Court.
Various players have also been engaged in the Mediation process; including the Kenya National Human Rights Commission, COTU, the Law Society of Kenya and Religious Leaders. However, due to the hard-line position of the Union, which position has not moved an iota since last year, all these efforts have failed.
Further to the generous offer of 50% increment and as a sign of goodwill, an additional Kes. 600 Million was offered to the doctors by backdating the Risk Allowance to commence from July, 2016. In this regard the Doctors Annual Wage Bill as a singular budgetary item would be in excess Kes 14.5 Billion.
This additional offer was on condition that the doctors call off the strike and report back to work, this morning. Consequently for failure to call off the strike, the Government has now rescinded this offer and there will be no further negotiations on remuneration (salaries and allowances).
However it is now time for the die to fall as they may; and for each individual doctor, pharmacists and dentists within the public service to negotiate with his/her particular employer, be it the national government in the case of those working in national facilities, or in the particular county government.
Following an extraordinary mini summit, the two tiers of government has resolved the following:
The Government’s Offer
Doctors who have and continue being on duty, will receive the Government’s Offer of new allowances with effect from 1stJanuary 2017.
Those Doctors who are on strike and who are willing to return to work are expected to resume duty at their respective Duty Stations with immediate effect.
Recall of Registrars & Intern Doctors
All postgraduate medical students (registrars) who are sponsored by the Government are to report to their respective Duty Stations with immediate effect.
Interns who are currently on internship are directed to report back to their respective internship centers with immediate effect, in order to complete their internship and facilitate registration by the Board.
The National and County Governments and all other employers in the Public Health Sector to continue and conclude disciplinary process being undertaken as against absconding staff in order to facilitate filling of vacancies that may be left out as a result of the disciplinary action.
Police Protection; and Criminal and Civil Liability
The National Police shall provide adequate security for personnel who have not gone on strike; as well as those who decide to return to work.
We recognize the continued contribution and support of Faith Based and Private Health facilities.
Subject to the existing law, the government shall immediately review the registration and certification procedures for medical practitioners and the role of KMPDU in that process, with the view of reverting that function to the back to the Ministry of Health.
Every Doctor swears a solemn oath that they shall “Do No Harm.” Continuing with this illegal strike in the face of the enhanced Government Offer which is at the very edge of affordability and sustainability is to betray that solemn Oath. It is to DO VERY REAL AND CONTINUING HARM to the very same Kenyans whose sacrifice in terms of taxes paid for the Medical Training that the Doctors received.