George Kebaso and Bernice Mbugua @PeopleDailyKe
Doctors have dismissed sacking threats by the National and County governments and vowed not to resume duty. Speaking to the media yesterday, union leaders said they would not be intimidated into calling off the strike which is now in its second month.
They insisted that the 2013 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), which is in contention, be implemented in full. On Monday, the National government and the Council of Governors (CoG) ordered the doctors to resume work by today or risk dismissal. The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) officials said they were ready to go to jail.
Yesterday, the Employment and Labor Relations Court issued a warrant of arrest against the officials for failing to appear in Court. Justice Hellen Wasilwa said seven union officials were guilty of contempt of court for defying a ruling made by the court last year. She directed the OCS Kilimani Police Station to enforce the warrants.
But the officials remained defiant, saying there would be no more negotiations until the contentious CBA is implemented. “Sacking us or taking all of us to jail will not stop this country’s doctors from demanding what’s rightful to them,” secretary general Dr Ouma Oluga and chairman Samuel Oroko told the media.
He added: “The court has issued the warrants against us despite an appeal we filed against the contempt of court charges,” he added. The officials were to appear in court yesterday for sentencing after they were found guilty of contempt of court for failing to call off the strike despite the court declaring it illegal.
Last week, the government offered a 40 per cent salary hike after President Uhuru Kenyatta met their representatives at State House Mombasa. The offer, which the doctors’ union rejected, would have seen the pay of the least-paid doctor rise from Sh140,244 to Sh196,989.
“Both governments, national and county, have given a reasonable deal to the doctors that they need to consider. We are calling on them to take the offer and resume work to avoid disciplinary action,” said CoG chairman, Peter Munya on Monday.