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Doctors up in arms over non remittance of union dues

HEALTH & SCIENCEBy GRAHAM KAJILWA | 2 months ago
By GRAHAM KAJILWA | 2 months ago

 

KMPDU acting Secretary-General Dr Chibanzi Mwachonda addresses the press at Emara Ole-Sereni. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard]

A doctors’ strike could be in the offing once again, as the medics’ union locks horns with the government over non-remittance of dues.

Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU), which held a meeting with its delegates yesterday, said the medics would reach out to other affiliate unions and later announce a way forward.

KMPDU acting Secretary General Chibanzi Mwachonda said if the delegates agreed that the government was out to frustrate them, then a decision would be made in the next few weeks.

“We will not lie down while this continues. If this situation will be considered unredeemable, then we will give our statement,” said Dr Mwachonda.

The doctors will reach out to nurses, clinical officers, and teachers’ union “since they are facing the same problem”.

“Our remittances from our employers must be reinstated,” said Mwachonda.

A letter dated December 22, 2020, from Public Service and Gender Cabinet Secretary  Margaret Kobia, addressed to the Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe, communicated the decision that was a result of a consultative meeting held on December 21, attended by the Council of Governors.

“…it was decided that with effect from the date of this letter, the Ministry and county governments would not play the agency role of remitting union dues to the unions in the health sector,” the letter read.

Workers’ unions

The letter followed a push-and-pull between the two levels of government and healthcare workers’ unions over a strike that kicked off on December 7, 2020.

While doctors stopped their strike on Christmas eve of 2020, clinicians and nurses are still on strike. But several counties have signed return-to-work formulas with county union leaders to have the medics go back to work.

Mwachonda said the government should honour its part of the deal by renewing contracts of doctors, and providing comprehensive medical insurance and group life cover by the end of the month.

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