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Get ready for worst ever doctors' strike, unions warn

Patients in public hospitals should brace themselves for tough times ahead after doctors threatened the worst strike ever.

The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) yesterday insisted its members will down their tools starting December 5 over poor salaries.

KMPDU secretary-general Ouma Oluga said they will no longer engage the Government over doctors’ remuneration even as the salaries commission termed their action premature.

A statement by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) chairman Sarah Serem said the agency is still consulting stakeholders over a controversial job evaluation report the medics have opposed.

“The commission will engage stakeholders further to share and receive their feedback on the job evaluation results. We will also engage employing institutions to address gaps in grading and competency framework,” read the statement.


The Standard has established SRC has planned meetings with all the five sectors that were evaluated to discuss the findings further.

But Dr Oluga said the country is about to experience the worst doctors’ strike ever, accusing the Government of shifting goal posts in negotiations over their salaries.

“Our members are ready for the strike. We are no longer willing to enter into discussions with the Government or SRC over the matter anymore. They can call as many press conferences as they want but all we know is our members are going on strike next month,” he said.

Oluga said they are frustrated that negotiations they started with the Government in 2011 have not borne fruit while they continue to suffer.

He said the union started negotiating with the State over the issue of our payment in 2011. “In 2013, we signed a Collective Bargaining Agreement but nothing has come out of it,” Oluga said.


Oluga said the Government ignored a CBA it signed with them and moved to court. “After a year and a half in the court, Government lost the case but did not pay us. The court gave them another 45 days to pay. We have not been paid,” Oluga said.

“There will be no services, even emergency services in all hospitals, including KNH, and we are asking Kenyans to support us because we have been discriminated against for a long time,” he said.

Kenya National Union of Nurses secretary-general Seth Panyako trashed SRC’s bid to engage their unions over the controversial job evaluation report.

Panyako said the stakeholders meetings do not hold water as the report is already complete and a directive already issued to employers to use it during CBA negotiations yet it does not address their issues.

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