Mediators seek to unlock doctors stalemate

By Lynace Mwashigadi

The country continues to wait with baited breath for the outcome of the ongoing talks that seek to end the ongoing Doctor’s strike which has paralyzed health service provision in public health facilities for the last two months now.

Mediators in the current standoff were Sunday locked in a meeting for close to five hours in their spirited attempt to end the stalemate whose genesis is the contested 2013 Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The mediators agreed that CBA in question forms the basis of the return to work formulae subject to amendments to conform to governance structures provided for in the country’s supreme law.

With the seven days deadline provided for by the Labour Relations court fast approaching, the Central Organization of Trade Unions which is mediating the standoff between the striking Doctors and the government is leaving nothing to chance.

The union, together with KPMDU officials and Kenya National Commission on Human Rights Chief Executive Officer Patricia Nyaundi were Sunday locked in a meeting that lasted more than 4 hours in a bid to find a breakthrough.

The tripartite meeting resolved that 2013 collective bargaining agreement  forms the basis of the return to work formulae, and that the  agreement and its amendments be implemented as per the time table to be discussed and agreed upon during the interparty meetings.

The return to work formulae which was drafted by the three parties also provides that the co-chairs convene an interparty meeting as soon as possible in which they will seek extension of time if no agreement is reached in 7 days as directed by the courts.

The proposals further requires that the  ministry of health and the council of governors on behalf of county governments be part of the talks, with the process being viewed as a mediation and nor an arbitration.

The agreements however must be implemented before Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) calls of the strike devoid of any victimization.

Justice Hellen Wasilwa had last Monday morning delivered a judgment following intervention by the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights and the Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU), which promised to resolve the doctors’ impasse before one week lapses.

KMPDU officials have for the last 60 days vowed to ensure their members do not resume duty until their demands are met.

This even as Nurses in Migori, nurses downed tools citing failure by the county government to pay them the agreed nursing service allowance.

42 counties are yet to pay nurses the amount at least according Kenya National Union of Nurses and may soon suffer a similar fate. The Peter Munya led Council of Governors is this expected to state its position on the matter.


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