By KBC Reporters
Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacist and Dentists Union (KMPDU) officials have been given a one month suspended sentence by the Industrial Court.
Issuing the ruling, Judge Hellen Wasilwa gave the union officials a two week window to negotiate with the government and end the strike, failure to which they will be jailed for a month.
The judge ruled on the contempt of court case after giving the KMPDU officials a chance to explain why they should not be punished.
They union officials pleaded for leniency arguing that if jailed, the talks on the 2013 Collective Bargaining Agreement would be jeopardized. They further said that locking them up would affect the clamour for an improved health sector.
Their plea was considered by the lady judge who reminded the Medics that the CBA in question is not registered with the industrial court which means it is null and void.
The officials were forced to appear before the court after judge Wasilwa issued a warrant of arrest against them.
This was after they refused to appear in court for sentencing after being found guilty of disobeying a court order to end the ongoing strike.
Elsewhere, Tharaka-Nithi Governor Samuel Ragwa says striking doctors in his County have seven days to explain why they should not be sacked for boycotting duty.
Addressing journalists, Ragwa said at the end of the seven days, Doctors who will not have satisfied the panel handling the matter will be dismissed and their positions advertised.
Ragwa further said that the striking medics will be required to re-apply for their jobs afresh. He said the County will not pay December salaries, terming the Doctors’ strike as illegal.
The Governor noted that counties were not party to the 2013 collective bargaining agreement (CBA) and since 80 per cent of Doctors work in Counties, they should have honoured a request by the Council of Governors (CoG) to resume work as negotiations continue.
He noted that even if the striking Doctors had accepted the 40 per cent pay increase offered by President Uhuru Kenyatta, Tharaka-Nithi County would have been in a crisis as its budget cannot support the increment.