Doctors union officials have said they are to go to jail if talks scheduled for today’s afternoon between them and the government fail to yield an amicable solution.
KMPDU Nairobi branch Secretary General Thuranira Kauguria has said that they are ready to be jailed on Thursday for disobeying court orders to call off the strike.
According to Kauguria, the officials claim that were only performing their duty and accused the ministry of health of frustrating talks and using the court to intimidate them.He dismissed claims made by Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu that there were clauses touching the contested Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) they had agreed upon.
"We are ready to go to prison anytime for the sake of making the health sector responsive. We have meeting scheduled for today later in the afternoon. If it fails we shall await the court ruling, "
“We are ready to go to prison anytime for the sake of making the health sector responsive. We have meeting scheduled for today later in the afternoon. If it fails we shall await the court ruling, ” Dr Thuranira said.
He added : “Claims by the government we have agreed on some issues on the CBA are a fallacy because we haven’t agreed on anything. “
On Sunday CS Mailu had said that they had agreed on clause one and two 0f the 2013 CBA.
Dr Mailu is said to be furious with KMPDU officials for sponsoring the demonstration by students at Afya House last week, yet there was an agreement to stop all demos until the talks are over.
The defiant officials have also continued endless attacks on the government on social media against the agreement reached last week.
“This week, our leaders, and indeed all doctors in Kenya, will be jailed for aspiring for a responsive healthcare system. We are ready,” KMPDU secretary general Ouma Oluga wrote on his Twitter account.
Doctors are demanding a 300 per cent pay rise, giving an intern a monthly salary of Sh325,000 and specialists close to Sh 1 million monthly pay.
According to the minister the CBA is unregistered in the Labour Court and without the legal requirement it is rendered non-implementable in its current form.
The Labour Court alluded to this fact and gave parties a time-frame to negotiate the contentious issues within the CBA and submit it for registration.
“The Ministry of Health has made spirited efforts to engage the doctors’ union initially on; one, a return to work formula and two, address contentious issues in the 2013 CBA as directed by the Court. It is now however apparent that the Union is not interested in addressing the issues as pronounced by the court, ” Dr Mailu said.
He added :” It is apparent that the doctors’ union has engaged side shows and use of diversionary tactics to frustrate the efforts and intentions by the Government to resolve the current impasse.”
The doctors have pressed on with industrial action despite it having been declared illegal by the Court.
They have also rejected proposals by the Government to conclude negotiations towards ending the strike and turned down a 40 per cent pay increase offered by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
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