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Doctors' union officials deny social media reports of deal

By Graham Kajilwa AND KAMAU MAICHUIE | Published Tue, February 21st 2017 at 00:00, Updated February 20th 2017 at 20:28 GMT +3
The Kenya Union of Nurses Kijabe Mission Hospital chapter protesting yesterday over a 36.7 pay increment in the CBA, which they are still negotiating with the hospital management.They vowed not to resume work until their demands are met by the hospital management. PHOTO BY KAMAU MAICHUHIE.

Doctors have disowned a purported pay deal with the Government circulated on social media by a State House digital communications director.

Yesterday afternoon, State House Senior Director for Digital Communication Dennis Itumbi posted on his social media page that the ongoing discussions to have doctors back to work had made major headway.

In the post, Mr Itumbi claimed the Government and the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) had agreed on everything except salaries.

"They want the lowest-paid doctor to get Sh221,000 and the highest paid Sh940,000, plus allowances goes (sic) to Sh1.2 million," posted Itumbi.

He argued that the Government was offering to pay doctors "way better than those in private hospitals".

He indicated that doctors working in some counties would soon begin enjoying the new Government offer.

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While the KMPDU officials conceded they held discussions with the Government yesterday, they said no deal was reached.

They dismissed Itumbi's post as not only misleading but also against the rules of engagement that demanded no party leaked information to the public.

Meanwhile, clinical officers have rolled out mass demonstrations across all counties to protest the refusal by Treasury to pay them Sh10,000 in call allowances.

"The failure to accept the call allowances prompted us to move out of negotiations," said Kenya Union of Clinical Officers Deputy Secretary General Austin Otieno.

In Kiambu, operations at the busy Kijabe Mission Hospital were paralysed after about 300 nurses downed their tools.

The nurses want a 36.7 per cent pay increment.

They also complained of poor working conditions, with female nurses accusing the hospital administration of punishing those who got pregnant.

"We have three nurses whose services were terminated when they got pregnant," said one nurse.

Hospital managers declined to speak to the media, promising to issue a statement.

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