Striking doctors have rejected the 40 per cent pay raise offer, demanding fulfilment of a 2013 collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between their union and the government.
Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) secretary-general Ouma Oluga said the 2013 pact went beyond a salary review, and that the doctors want its full implementation.
The union says the CBA was to give them a 300 per cent pay raise, review of their working conditions and job structures, as well as criteria for promotions and address under-staffing of medical professionals in public hospitals.
The Treasury has also committed to allocate money to a research fund aimed at training doctors in specialised fields.
The union is expected this morning to issue a formal response to the State House meeting, which saw President Uhuru Kenyatta table the 40 per cent offer.
“We did not ask for a 40 per cent or a 100 per cent pay increase…all we want is a registered and implemented CBA,” Dr Oluga told the Business Daily in a telephone interview.
“I do not want to pre-empt things since we are going to issue our own statement this Friday and you will see.”
The doctors’ strike will enter its 32nd day Friday, and the hardening of positions will deepen patients’ suffering given that service delivery at public hospitals remains paralysed.
Doctors were represented by a seven-member delegation, led by the chairman, Dr Samuel Oroko, Dr Oluga and a legal representative.
Conspicuously absent from the meeting was the Council of Governors, the county government body that employs more than 80 per cent of the health workers.
The government offer would see the least-paid doctor take home a monthly salary of Sh196,989, up from the current Sh140,244. The pay raise would include allowances offered to the doctors in various job groups.
The Health ministry said in a statement that the CBA signed with the union on March 22, 2013 and June 27, 2013 was subject to presentation to the Salaries Remuneration Commission (SRC) and the Treasury for concurrence and advice before the registration of the document in court for implementation.
The SRC advised that the CBA was unacceptable. “KMPDU should engage with each county government with a view to having a recognition agreement signed and the CBA be fully aligned to the existing laws and regulations,” SRC recommended.