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Uhuru, Governors play hard ball on doctors, withdraw 50 pc offer

The Government has withdrawn the enhanced offer with 50 per cent pay rise that it had offered striking doctors and vowed to protect those who will resume work.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Council of Governors also ordered all striking doctors to resume work immediately and directed counties to discipline all medics who defy the order.

The development means that doctors who resume work can only benefit from the 40 per cent that had been offered by the national government.

In a joint statement by the national government and the county governments read by the Council of Governors Chairman Peter Munya, the doctors’ union KMPDU was slammed for taking a hard-line stance.

“Various players have also been engaged in the Mediation process; including the Kenya National Human Rights Commission, COTU, the Law Society of Kenya and Religious Leaders. However, due to the hard-line position of the Union, which position has not moved an iota since last year, all these efforts have failed,” said Mr Munya.

The government says the offer of 50 per cent increment and an additional Sh600 million was made to the doctors by backdating the risk allowance to commence from July 2016.

This would have taken the doctors annual wage bill as a singular budgetary item to more than Sh14.5 billion.

“This additional offer was on condition that the doctors call off the strike and report back to work, this morning. Consequently, for failure to call off the strike, the Government has now rescinded this offer and there will be no further negotiations on remuneration (salaries and allowances),” Added Mr Munya.

He said it is now time “for the die to fall” as they may; and for each individual doctor, pharmacists and dentists within the public service to negotiate with their particular employer, be it the national government in the case of those working in national facilities, or in the particular county government.

Mr Munya said doctors who have been on duty will receive the Government’s Offer of new allowances with effect from January 1, 2017.

In addition, doctors who are on strike and are willing to return to work are expected to resume duty at their respective duty stations with immediate effect.

The Meru governor said those willing to work will be provided with adequate security.

All interns and postgraduate medical students who are sponsored by the Government were also ordered to report to work immediately.

The government also vowed to discipline doctors for absconding duty.