The Employment and Labour Relations Court has suspended the strike by doctors in Laikipia until a case filed by the county government is heard and determined.
Justice Nzioki wa Makau Thursday directed the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists’ Union (KMPDU) and its secretary general, Dr Ouma Oluga, to call off the ongoing strike.
In its application, Governor Ndiritu Muriithi’s government indicated that the strike is interfering with the smooth running of healthcare services.
The court was told that the doctors provide essential services which have been disrupted by the strike.
The judge, while certifying the application as urgent, stated that the strike is unprotected.
He directed the county government to serve the union and Dr Oluga with the application and the order while the inter-parties hearing was set for June 20.
The doctors downed their tools on Monday complaining that their employer had failed to implement a collective bargaining agreement (CBA).
The union added that county government had failed to respond to issues of designation of specialists to the right job group.
They also cited non-payment of arrears arising from delayed promotions and implementation of the CBA.
But County Secretary Karanja Njora dismissed the doctors’ claims, saying 49 doctors have already been promoted this year and eight others recruited.
According to Mr Njora, doctors in Laikipia are among the best paid civil servants in the country.
He revealed that they have an starting salary of Sh236,000 while the highest paid is earning Sh428,000.
“The 131 doctors working for the county government account for 30 percent of the health wage bill. In addition, 49 of the doctors were promoted in January and eight new ones were employed. Further, the government has this year alone sponsored 46 for senior management courses,” he stated.
Governor Muriithi recently complained about the county’s wage bill which Mr Njora said stands at 56 percent of the total Sh2.6 billion budget out of which Sh1.6 billion goes to the Health department.