Gov’t withdraws pay offer, orders doctors back to work

By KBC Reporters

The two levels of Government have withdrawn the 50% salary increment, the 600 million shillings risk allowance offered to striking doctors and withdrawn from the ongoing religious led negotiations.

Doctors have also been given an ultimatum to report to work Wednesday with immediate effect failure to which they will be fired.

This development throws into disarray the religious led mediation process that appeared to be making head way in resolving the standoff.

The two levels of Government directed doctors to return to work immediately or risk being sacked.

The government also says it is reconsidering the role of KMPDU in registering medics.

The Peter Munya led Council of Governors has ordered doctors on internship and medical government sponsored students to resume their work station with immediate effect.

However, medics who will resume work have been assured of security and the 40% salary increment that was offered by government in December.

Earlier, the proverbial white smoke appeared imminent after a mediation team arbitrating the impasse presented their report to Court of appeal judges Hannah Okwengu, Martha Koome and Kantai Ole Sankale.

The content of the deal struck by doctors and the mediation team was awaiting approval of the council of governors with antagonists in the industrial strife offered six more days to iron out outstanding issues.

But the arbitration team has now been sent back to the drawing board with the latest directive that has seen the government withdraw its counter offer directing striking doctors to go back to their work stations or face disciplinary action.

It was the view of many Kenyans that with divine intervention from the inter-religious council as key mediators arbitrating the doctors’ impasse, a resolution to the crippling strike will be the end result come Tuesday morning.

The Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union through lawyer Philip Murgor insisted that the parties agree and sign the recognition agreement as well as the revised 2013 collective bargaining agreement before working on the return to work formula, a proposal that attracted immediate opposition from the council of governors and the office of the attorney general who requested their client be given 10 days to study the plan before signing the CBA.

Through their lawyer, KMPDU were adamant of getting and legalizing the revised 2013 collective bargaining agreement before calling off the 93 day old strike.

The doctors’ hard-line stance appeared to irk President Kenyatta who was speaking at the ongoing devolution conference, called for sobriety in the ongoing impasse.

The ball was eventually tossed over to the council of governors with the court offering a further six days window period for parties to agree and settle the matter before appearing on court on the 17th of March 2017.

Having been enjoined in the mediation process on the 2nd of March, the court had further directed the inter-religious council to remain key mediators between the antagonists and the council of governor until the matter is resolved.

The matter is slated to be heard by a special sitting constituted by the court of appeal on Monday the 13th with the court expected to give further directions on the matter.

However, this arrangement now appears an optical illusion with the new resolution that might see striking doctors lose their jobs if they don’t get back to their work stations in place.