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Saturday, May 27, 2017

Elgeyo Marakwet to fire 51 striking doctors

A striking doctor outside Afya House in Nairobi at the start of their nationwide strike over the fulfillment of a 2013 Collectuive Bargaining Agreement, December 5, 2016. /MONICAH MWANGI
A striking doctor outside Afya House in Nairobi at the start of their nationwide strike over the fulfillment of a 2013 Collectuive Bargaining Agreement, December 5, 2016. /MONICAH MWANGI

Elgeyo Marakwet county will fire 51 striking doctors if they do not resume their duties before Monday, health executive Thomas Ruto has said.

Ruto said on Friday that the county will sack them in line with a directive issued by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday.

“There is nothing we can do other than to subject them to disciplinary action which includes sacking. People must be ready to work,” he said.

Nurses in Elgeyo Marakwet have threatened to down their tools from Monday if their Collective Bargaining is not implemented.

Benson Biwott, county secretary general for the Kenya National Union of Nurses, said they want a 50 per cent pay rise for basic salaries and risk allowances and a Sh50,000 uniform allowance per year.

“Nurses receive Sh7,000 as uniform allowance yet they are the only cadre of health workers who must be in uniform," he said.

In Nairobi, Kenyatta National Hospital has fired 12 doctors for taking part in the strike that began on December 5 last year and written show cause letters to 48 others.

CEO Lily Koros said they had been advised against participating as the strike was illegal and assured that they would be protected under the law.

She directed all striking doctors employed by the hospital to return to work.

Read: KNH sacks 12 doctors, 48 facing disciplinary action over strike

Doctors have been on strike for three months in a bid to compel the government to fulfill a 2013 CBA for a 300 per cent salary increment and improved working conditions.

Talks hit a dead end and saw the government cancel a Sh14.5 billion offer it had made the health workers.

It had proposed the "good gesture" of backdating their risk allowances to July 2016, a package that would cost a total of Sh600 million.

The alternative was backdating the emergency allowance to October 2016, an expense that would have added up to Sh570 million.

Council of Governors chairman Peter Munya, who announced the cancellation, said the offer also included a 50 per cent increase in salaries.

More on this: Uhuru agrees to raise striking doctors' allowances after clergy intervention

Also read: State withdraws Sh14.5b offer for striking doctors, to hire workers afresh


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