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Kisumu doctors call off strike after 35 days

Wednesday July 15 2020
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Medics sing solidarity songs at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referal Hospital in Kisumu. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By ELIZABETH OJINA     

Doctors in Kisumu County have called off their strike after 35 days of boycotting work following yesterday's ruling by the Employment and Labour Relations Court.

Justice Nduma Nderi had directed them to resume work by tomorrow (Thursday) and directed the County Government to effect promotions and salary arrears by August 30. 

Consequently, the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) Nyanza branch on Wednesday asked all its members to resume work immediately and not later than 11:59 Thursday.

Chairman Dr Kevin Osuri and Secretary Dr Lameck Omweri said they remain hopeful that Governor Anyang' Nyong'o's administration will respect court orders.

The doctors were protesting the county’s failure to honour the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) of 2017.

Justice Nderi ordered Kisumu County to issue promotion letters to 126 doctors and clear their salary arrears by August 30, backdating those promoted to July 2019.

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PUBLIC INTEREST

The Judge said that while they were engaged in a strike, the court had considered the overriding public interest in deciding to direct the doctors to resume work due to Covid-19.

The doctors have been on strike since June 6 and efforts by the County to have them resume work flopped.

The union had remained adamant that their demands, which include promotions and salary arrears, needed to be met first.

Their counterparts, the nurses and clinicians who were also on strike, suspended their boycott on June 24 after a similar order by the Labour court.

Last week, Dr Nyong’o held an emergency meeting with members of the County Health Management Team and ordered them to find a solution to the doctors' strike.

“I want to you to find out why the doctors are still on strike when I have addressed most of their grievances. Why are they not in hospitals?" The governor posed to the management team.

He asked the striking doctors to stop blame games and resume work as their pending grievances are addressed.

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