Doctors Head Back To Court Hoping For A Deal
Doctors will be back in court this morning hoping to end the strike which entered 100 days on Tuesday.
When they appeared before a three-judge bench on Monday, the striking doctors indicated that they were ready to go back to work if the government signs return-to-work formula and a recognition agreement.
The Presiding Judge Martha Koome said the doctors would be sent back to the Employment and Labour Relations Court, for the hearing of the dispute, it they do not sign the agreement.
But through lawyer James Orengo, officials of the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists’ Union undertook to suspend the strike and have all its members return to work immediately, if the document is signed.
Doctors went on strike on December 5, 2016 pressing for the signing of a collective bargaining agreement signed in 2013.
A new deal brokered by religious leaders including Nairobi archbishop John Cardinal Njue, Archbishop Jackson ole Sapit of the Anglican Church in Kenya and Adan Wachu of Interreligious Council among others, agreed on a model-recognition agreement and a collective bargaining agreement for 2017-2021.
The doctors said the deal conforms to the judgment of the Employment and Labour Relations Court. The deal would see all doctors placed in their appropriate job groups based on the revised scheme of service for medial officers, dentists and pharmacists.
The current emergency call allowance will be renamed “doctors allowance” and is payable to all medical practitioners, pharmacists and dentists.
On Sunday, State House spokesman Manoah Esipisu ruled out any further negotiations with the doctors and ordered them back to work.
“We thank the doctors that have so far gone back to work. We note the union’s statement on the subject, which was sent to doctors last night. But the President’s resolve and message remain the same: there will be no more chicanery on this subject,” he said.