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Doctors issue fresh threat over salaries

Doctors have given the Health ministry up to Friday to withdraw its communication to county governments that those who participated in the strike should not to be paid for the days they were away.

The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union said this will ensure that the salaries withheld from December 2016, when the strike began, would be bumped up at the end of this month.

The ministry had written to Council of Governors chairman Peter Munya on March 17 — three days after the strike ended — saying those who participated in the strike should only be paid the new allowances “with effect from the date they report on duty” while those who worked throughout would get the allowances with effect from January 1.

Union secretary-general Ouma Oluga’s letter to Health Principal Secretary Nicholas Muraguri termed the move demoralising and a gross violation of the return-to-work formula signed on March 14.

Further, the letter dated March 21, said should the matter not be addressed, the union would take stern action by April 3.

However, Dr Oluga did not provide details on the stern action, but instead told Nation: “The government wishes to keep people focused on sideshows so that time for registering the collective bargaining agreement elapses.”

The union has also asked doctors from Tanzania to wait for at least two months until the Kenyan Government signs the two crucial documents before seeking jobs in Kenya.

In the letter dated March 20 by Dr Oluga to the president of the Medical Association of Tanzania, Dr Obadia Nyongole, Dr Oluga said in the past two years, doctors in Kenya have not had it easy.

“The Kenyan doctors have struggled to be employed by the Kenyan Government, forcing a number to be rejected due to what the Kenyan Government and the ministry of Health termed as budget constraints. This formed part of the CBA dispute,” it reads.

©Alleastafrica and Daily Nation 

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