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County Governors now ready to negotiate with striking doctors

By Lonah Kibet | Published Tue, February 14th 2017 at 18:40, Updated February 14th 2017 at 18:50 GMT +3
Council of Governors chairman Peter Munya
Council of Governors chairman Peter Munya addressing a press conference, with him are Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma (left) and Tharaka Nithi Governor Samuel Ragwa at their headquarters offices in Nairobi on 14/02/2017 [PHOTO: JENIPHER WACHIE/Standard]

County governments are still willing to negotiate with striking doctors even as the officials serve their one month jail term for contempt of court.

Council of Governors (COG) Chairman Peter Munya has also urged doctors’ union officials to purge the contempt by ending the strike.

"County governments remain committed to a negotiated settlement in good faith of all parties in dispute. We continue to urge the striking doctors to end the on-going strike and bring to an end the suffering of ordinary Kenyans who cannot access medical services in private facilities," said Munya.

He added: "We believe in the constitutionalism and the rule of law which the doctors' union has ignored."

He accused the doctors of refusing to negotiate and insisting on the full implementation of their Collective Bargaining Agreement.

He said governors were willing to look into the proposals presented to them by the court, appointed mediators, Central Organisation of Trade Union and Kenya National Commission on Human Rights.

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"We met the two organisations who brought proposals which we agreed are good points for discussion. In fact we had no issue with relooking at the CBA in terms of seeing what can be pick from it and what can be changed," he said.

Munya in a media briefing on Monday pointed out that part of the problem was improved supervision in the counties to ensure doctors earn what they work for.

"We have those who want to earn a salary they do not work for or spend a lot of time in clinics or private facilities and still want to earn money at the end of each month from the public service. The public sector must also get value for its money even as the doctor gets adequate compensation," pointed out Munya.

He added that the health sector was devolved through a referendum for the 2010 constitution which can only be overturned through a similar process.

“The health sector is a constitutional thing, it is not the county governments that said the sector be devolved, it was a referendum that Kenyans went through that devolved the sector. The only way you can reverse is through another referendum, you can't reverse it through a strike and bringing the sector to a standstill," pointed out Munya.