Governors Demand Striking Doctors to Return to Work or Face Termination

the Council of Governors (CoG) issued a directive to striking doctors, urging them to comply with court orders and return to work promptly.

The CoG emphasized the importance of adhering to legal mandates and warned of potential consequences, including termination, for non-compliance.

CoG Chair Anne Waiguru underscored the significance of addressing doctors’ concerns through negotiation, highlighting that counties, as the employers of medical professionals due to the devolution of health services, are best positioned to resolve grievances.

Waiguru urged the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) to engage in constructive dialogue with individual county governments to reach a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

“We encourage the union to negotiate  the new CBAs with individual county governments who are their employers. This cannot be negotiated from the national level because health is a devolved function. We urge the county governments and the doctors to exercise sobriety as parties resolve these matters amicably,” said Waiguru.

“We also call upon the doctors who are on strike to go back to work pursuant to the court orders issued on March 13, 2024 and March 15, 2024, failure to which the respective county governments who are their employers will be at liberty to take any appropriate disciplinary action.”

However, KMPDU Secretary General Davji Atellah reiterated the union’s stance, asserting that the government has consistently ignored court rulings regarding doctors’ rightful remuneration.

Atellah maintained that the KMPDU will not yield to threats and coercion, emphasizing their commitment to advocating for doctors’ rights.

“In every county in the country we’re owed money, and that is a debt that was to be paid just the way we pay the Eurobond and the way counties pay their debts…it’s a pending bill that ought to be cleared. This is a CBA that was signed and deposited in court…it’s a court order…they have not complied with that court order,” said Dr. Atellah.

“We went to court and got a judgement that went against all the 47 counties and the Ministry of Health to demand for that payment, they have not complied. So you cannot go to the table of negotiation with dirty hands, you have to clean your hands before you engage us and tell us to comply to a court order.”

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