The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) has put to task the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) over its decision to abolish doctors’ contractual earnings and remuneration.
Speaking during a press briefing at Lake Naivasha Resort, KMPDU Secretary General, Davji Atellah Bhimji issued a stern warning to the commission, pointing out that the decision would result in dire consequences.
The KMPDU boss termed the new laws as retrogressive, unconstitutional, and reneged on the initial terms agreed upon in the 2017/2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).
"There are a lot of frustrations from the non-implementation of the CBA 2017/21. There are a lot of frustrations for the consultants who stagnated in various job groups in the country.
"We hope that the particular document that the government signed will actually come to fruition and will impact all doctors on March 5, 2023, and that the public will not suffer when we issue another notice," he noted.
Abidan Mwachi, KMPDU chairman, echoed Bhimji's statements and affirmed that the health ministry stakeholders should conduct a consultative meeting with the union's representatives to solve the stalemate.
"As the leaders, we thought the progress was well, but we're to do a consultative meeting with the leaders across the country. We have pointed out gaps about what we agreed and this borders around timelines," Mwachi stated.
The union suspended its nationwide strike slated for January 6, 2023. The KMPDU boss, at the time, affirmed that the government had pledged five promises to the doctors; reviewing the basic salaries as per the 2017-2022 CBA agreement in a period of 60 days, posting interns to different hospitals across the country and commitment to having all salaries for their members paid by the fifth of every month.
Other areas agreed upon were; the payment of postgraduate studies and medical insurance for the union's members. The doctors gave the government a period of 60 days to review the stipulated pledges; failure to which the nationwide strike would resume.
"With devolution, the human resource went to the counties. However, the funds remained at the Ministry of Health. Since 2017, their fees have not been paid.
'It was committed that all the fees will be paid to enable the doctors to graduate and return to the counties," Bhimji stated on Friday, January 6, during an interview on Spice FM.