Health Sector Strike: Doctors Appear Before Senate Health Committee, Say They Are Willing To Compromise For Strike To End

Doctors union officials on Tuesday hinted at a willingness to call off its two-month long strike when they appeared before the Senate Health Committee.

Officials of the KMPDU represented by Secretary-General Ouma Oluga told the Committee they would compromise as long as the government does the same.

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He went on to accuse the government of mishandling the strike saying the doctors’ aim was to discuss the 2013 Collective Bargaining Agreement.

”We are willing to compromise. It is time for a compromise but the government must also compromise. There has been a lot of misconception and misinformation that money is the only issue we raised,” he said.

“The ministry did not want to bargain. If the ministry could deliberate on this (CBA) we would take two or three days to return to work.”

“We know the gravity of the situation… It is not our wish but we have no option but to protest,” he added.

He pointed key areas of concern that should be addressed by the government before the strike is called off as training opportunities and employment for all regardless of tribe. He also talked about good working conditions.

Senate Health Committee chairman Wilfred Machage spoke afterward reiterating the government’s stance on the CBA being illegal.

He urged the officials to accept the government’s offer of a 40 percent increase in salaries and the entry level grade raise into public service to Job Group M from Job Group L.

Don’t let the 40 percent offer go. Soften a little…have somewhere to start… it is something to start with, do not just stick with the implementation of the CBA,” said Senator Machage.

The chairman added that doctors were key to a functioning society and should be setting an example for others to follow.

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“You are the cream of this country… you must be rewarded. We are ready to listen to (proposals) of what we can offer you other than the CBA.”

He noted that the 2013 Collective Bargaining Agreement was illegal because it was signed by PS Mark Bor who was demoted two days earlier.