REPUBLIC OF KENYA

Give dialogue a chance Mailu appeals to doctors

Dec

NAIROBI, Kenya, 5 December 2016 – The government is urging doctors and nurses to give dialogue a chance as it sought out a permanent solution to avert nationwide health workers’ strikes.

Health Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Cleopa Mailu, said the government is committed to industrial harmony and appealed to the doctors union to empathize with the public and give room to negotiations.

A scheduled meeting with the doctors failed to take off after they absconded but the CS said “We shall continue to extend the goodwill to negotiations until this process is concluded and we hope to meet the doctors on Monday to reach a consensus. Strikes should be the last resort because the tools are there for us to be able to negotiate.”

Dr. Mailu, was accompanied by the National Treasury Cabinet Secretary, Henry Rotich, Governor James Ongwae representing the Council of Governors, Health Principal Secretary, Dr. Nicholas Muraguri and the Director Medical Services, Dr. Jackson Kioko among others.

The two CS’s assured the public that the National and County governments are committed to avert the strikes and ensure that Kenyans do not suffer.

The Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU) want a 300 per cent salary increment for its members while the Kenya National Union of Nurses wants a 25 to 45 percent increase.

Dr. Mailu observed that the output of the negotiation should take into consideration the input of the Salaries and Enumeration Commission and the job evaluation exercise.

The CS Treasury Mr. Rotich added that the government is in the process of harmonizing pay for all civil servants. “We are working within our newly set framework and when we are done, SRC will announce the new scales for all workers. We need a salary review in all sectors; not just a few.”

On October 6, 2016, the Employment and Labour Court delivered a ruling citing the Collective Bargaining Agreement in respect to KMPDU. Upon receipt of the ruling, the Ministry of Health brought various stakeholders and the union together and held the first meeting on November 16, this year.

A negation team comprising of the Council of Governors, SRC, National Treasury and the office of the Attorney General was then formed to spearhead this process. Since then there have been three meetings involving all key stakeholders. It is our hope that the Union will return to the negotiation table in order to come up with a negotiated agreement as directed by the Court.