CELEBRATIONS as doctors call off the 100-day long strike
Kenyans can now breathe a sigh of relief after doctors on Tuesday called off the 100-day strike that has paralyzed services in public hospitals countrywide.
The strike was called off by the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) after they signed a return-to-work formula with the Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopha Mailu and Council of Governors Chairman Peter Munya.
“We are happy that the union has put to an end the strike. The terms and conditions relating to doctors have been honoured,” said KMPDU Sec Gen Ouma Oluga after signing the deal, “We hope the country will not experience such thing again.”
Speaking after the long-awaited signing, Dr Oluga pledged that doctors would seek harmony and follow up to ensure that their 2013 CBA is implemented after being deposited in court.
According to the signed return-to-work formula, the Council of Governors and KMPDU are set to sign a CBA within 60 days and file it at the Employment and Labour Relations Court.
Council of Governors Chairman Peter Munya welcomed the decision by the striking doctors to resume work saying it was a painful process that should have also taught the medics that health is a fully devolved function.
“This country should not experience such a painful process again. We should be able to put the bigger interest of the public first,” said the Meru Governor Peter Munya in reference to the protracted dispute that started on December 5th going through the Labour Court and eventually ending at Court of Appeal following brief imprisonment of the doctors.
It took a 24-hour ultimatum issued by the Court of Appeal on Monday threatening to send the dispute back to the Labour Court for Justice Hellen Wasilwa to handle substantive issues in the CBA to force the hand of the parties in the pay-hike talks.
The doctors had initially accepted a 50 per cent pay hike offer and Sh600 million offer fronted by President Uhuru Kenyatta but refused to resume work after the Council of Governors refused to agree to sign the return-to-work formula.