21 March 2019

Kenya: Kisumu Officials Meet Doctors in Last Minute Bid to Avert Strike

Doctors in Kisumu County have announced they will withdraw their services starting midnight Friday if the county government does not commit to implementing a 2017 collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists' Union (KMPDU) officials are currently locked up in a meeting with county government officials in a last minute attempt to break the stalemate.

KMPDU Nyanza Branch Chairman Kevin Osuri made the announcement Thursday morning, accusing Governor Anyang' Nyong'o's of failing to implement the 2017 CBA.

KEY ISSUES

Among other issues, the CBA addresses promotions, remittance of salaries, deductions and study leave.

Kisumu County has an approximate 250 doctors according to KMPDU.

The doctors had given Governor Nyong'o's administration a seven-day ultimatum to address their demands, which expires at midnight Friday, failure to which they said they would withdraw their services from all the public hospitals in the county.

Addressing reporters at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital, Mr Osuri said patients in Kisumu should brave for tough times starting Friday midnight if the doctors will not reached an agreement with the county government.

DOWN TOOLS

"From Friday midnight, doctors in every single hospital in Kisumu County will down their tools and will go on a protected strike against an incompetent employer, that is, the county government of Kisumu," announced Dr Osuri who was flanked by some of the doctors.

The union official said that doctors in the county are strained as they are about 250 only and are expected to serve the entire population of Kisumu and also patients from other counties.

The matter, he said, was among several issues which were to be addressed in the CBA through recruiting of more doctors.

OVERWORKED

"The doctor in Kisumu does not sleep. They work for more than 100 hours in a week but the county government of Kisumu is not concerned even with the CBA in place," said Mr Osuri.

The union termed as unacceptable the payments of some of their colleagues' salaries through vouchers, adding that the county government owes some of their members three months' salary arrears for.

Other issues the doctors want addressed include prompt remittance of their deductions to the union, study leave, their insurance cover and provision of non-pharmaceuticals and laboratory equipment.

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