Capital FM (Nairobi)

20 September 2012

Kenya: Striking Teachers, Doctors Will Be Fired - State

A Cabinet committee appointed last week to resolve the ongoing countrywide teachers', lecturers' and doctors' strikes today failed to make any ... ( Resource: Kenya's Cabinet Committee Fails to End Strikes

The government on Thursday threatened to sack and replace striking teachers and doctors if they fail to return to work immediately.

The Cabinet which met at State House Nairobi, directed the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union to adhere to court orders that ruled that they should return to work.

"The Ministry of Medical Services will undertake emergency recruitment to fill the gaps created by striking doctors. It will facilitate dialogue and the resumption of duty by those doctors who have or will resume duty," a statement from the Presidential Press Service (PPS) said.

The Cabinet also said it will introduce a Bill that will protect the right to life in case of future doctors' strikes.

"The provision of medical services was a right enshrined under the Constitution. The government will introduce a Bill to ring-fence the provision of essential services against future strikes that compromise the right to life," the Cabinet said.

It further discussed the offer of Sh1.9 billion approved in phase II of extraneous allowances to medical officers in the Ministries of Medical Services and Health, Kenyatta National Hospital and Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital.

During the meeting chaired by President Mwai Kibaki it was also agreed that the government will hire retired teachers, should current ones maintain their strike.

"The provision of medical services was a right enshrined under the Constitution. The government will introduce a Bill to ring-fence the provision of essential services against future strikes that compromise the right to life," the Cabinet said.

"The Cabinet once again asked teachers to resume work. Failure to do so, the government will in their place employ the 100,000 teachers who have completed their training, any retired teachers below 65 years will be reabsorbed among other measures," the Cabinet brief stated.

The Cabinet further directed that the school term be extended by three weeks to ensure students do not lose out due to the impact of the teachers strike that paralysed learning in public schools for that duration.

It also adopted the offer to teachers of Sh13.5 billion which will be implemented in 10 months by July 2013.

The Teachers Service Commission was also asked to form a committee on terms and conditions of service immediately.

The committee will be mandated to negotiate for harmonised pay, allowances, terms and conditions of service of teachers as per the legal framework of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission.

TSC was further directed to phase out P2 teachers. The Cabinet also agreed that the ban on hardship allowance will be lifted and special school allowance will be paid.

Noting that university staff unions had agreed to return to work, the government promised to release the outstanding Sh7.8 billion salary increments which will be dispatched in two equal phases.

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InFocus

Kenyan Govt Threatens to Fire Striking Workers

Government has threatened to fire and replace striking teachers and doctors if they fail to return to work immediately. The public sector workers say they will continue ... Read more »