Doctors in public hospitals in Laikipia County downed their tools on Tuesday, over what they termed as non implementation of Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with the County government.
Before the kick off of the strike, the medics had on May, 24, 2019 issued a notice to the County government through Kenya Medics Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentist’s Union (KMPDU).
The notice signed by KMPDU Secretary General Ouma Olugu, pointed out that the County government had failed to respond to the medic’s matters pertaining to right job group and nonpayment of arrears arising from delayed promotions among others.
The strike comes at a time the County government was struggling to reduce its wage bill which currently stands at 56 percent of the total budget and the law requires that the wage bill should not exceed 35 percent of the total County revenue.
Currently, there are over 40 doctors working in various health facilities in the County who are on study leave for nearly four years, and they are still on the pay roll.
A Visit to Nanyuki, Teaching and referral hospital this morning revealed that services are going on well despite the
Speaking to the press at the Hospital grounds, the County Government Secretary, Karanja Njora said measures had been employed in all the hospitals within the county, to ensure that the absence of the doctors who had absconded duty was not going to interrupt services delivery.
He pointed out that promotion of doctors and other staff working for the County government is an ongoing process and should not be a reason for any of them to boycott work.
“Indeed, doctors working in our health facilities are not the worst paid as they would like Kenyans to believe. They are among the highest paid civil servants with an entry salary of Sh.236, 000 and the highest currently at Sh.428, 000 the County Secretary added.
Njora noted that Laikipia County’s total budget was Sh.2.6 billion out of which Sh.1.6 billion goes to the health department.
The Secretary added that salaries for the 131 doctors working in the area account for 30 percent of the income which translates to Sh.442 million of the health wage bill per annum.
The former Kisii County Commissioner said currently, there is no doctor in Laikipia who is not confirmed, and their
promotion is based on two parameters of common cadre and Competitiveness in terms of qualifications pegged on availability of vacancies and meeting the requirements in the scheme of service.
Njora observed that 40 doctors were promoted in January this year, eighty were employed and 46 sponsored for senior management course at the Kenya School of government.
He added that the County government held a meeting with the doctors last week, where it was agreed that they present their present data or documents indicating that his government had undertaken to meet their demands “but of which they had decided not to adhere to up to now.”
By Margaret Kirera