The planned strike by doctors will start on Monday as planned and no amount of threats will deter them, union officials have insisted.
The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) has also warned Kenyans across the country to seek medical services from private hospitals, saying all public hospitals will be closed from December 5, 2016.
Led by the national secretary general Ouma Oluga, Chairman Samwel Oroko and national treasurer Daisy Korir, the officials have said once the strike begins, they will only resume their duties after the government implements the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) signed in June 2013.
“We have waited for so long and followed a painful process and we, as doctors of Kenya, feel we are left with only the option of implementing Article 41 of our Constitution by going [on] strike,” said Dr Oluga.
He was addressing journalists at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret Town on Thursday.
The officials said since the time they issued a 21-day strike notice, the government has not bothered to engage them and this has, therefore, left with no option but to go on strike.
HOSPITALS TO REMAIN CLOSED
“Beginning Monday midnight all hospitals across the country will remain closed until the CBA is implemented and, therefore, we advise the public not to waste their time seeking services [from] public facilities but instead go to private hospitals," added Dr Oroko.
The doctors' union wants the CBA implemented.
This will effectively mean an increase in their salaries.
It will also address other issues including employment and deployment.
DISMISSED SRC REVIEW
The union says that the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) deceived them with the job evaluation report released three weeks ago.
Dr Olunga said the report by SRC did not only delay their separate pay deals but also failed to indicate what they should earn.
Hea said doctors demanded a 300 per cent pay increase.
The SRC released a new job structure for over 600,000 public servants seeking to bridge the gap between the highest and lowest paid employees.
“SRC has been lying to us for 17 months using the job evaluation thing to delay our CBA and pay increase and the report that is full of nonsense with no figures of what exactly a doctor should earn,” Olunga said.
According to him, in the proposed pay increase, the highest paid doctor will earn Sh946, 000 while the lowest paid will take home Sh342,770.
Currently, the lowest paid doctor earns a basic salary of Sh40,000 which Dr Olunga says is demeaning and too little for their hard work.