Moi varsity doctors to strike over delayed Sh200m enhanced pay

Strike expected on Thursday, unless demands are met - payment of enhanced salaries, allowances.

In Summary

•The strike will also affect services at  Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital where the doctors provide medical services and also train medical students.

• Dr Davji Bhimji Atella, who is KPMDU secretary general, says university management had diverted more than Sh200 million released by Treasury two years ago.

Moi University VC Professor Isaac Kosgey addresses students at the Moi University Medical School in Eldoret.
STRIKE: Moi University VC Professor Isaac Kosgey addresses students at the Moi University Medical School in Eldoret.

More than 150 doctors who lecturer at Moi University School of Medicine will go on strike starting Thursday to demand payment of Sh200 million salaries and allowances withheld for two years.

They are demanding enhanced salaries and call allowances to be paid by the university that is facing a financial crisis.

The strike will hurt services at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital where the doctors treat patients and train students.

Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union secretary general Dr Davji Atella said the university management illegally diverted the more than Sh200 million released by the Treasury two years ago. 

VC Isaac Kosgey said the university is sorting out all pending employee issues, including salaries and allowances and asked doctors to be patient. 

Although the hospital is not involved in the failure to pay the money, services will be affected because as the doctors practice and teach at the the hospital.

Dr Atella said they had written to the EACC to probe how the money went missing at the university, causing the doctor-lecturers to suffer though the government had allocated the cash.

“The doctor-lecturers have agreed to proceed on industrial action because the university has refused to pay the money that was released more than two years ago," Dr Atella said.

He said the medics had been patient long enough and dialogue to have the money released had failed.

“There is a lot of misappropriation of funds that has made it difficult for the doctors to be paid their dues. The doctors cannot continue working yet the money they deserve to be paid is missing."

Dr Atella said the medics had been blacklisted by financial institutions because deductions from their salaries were not being remitted by the universities. He said all medical practitioners, specialists, pharmacists and all dentists would go on strike.

He said the university owes each of them more than Sh1.5 million.

“They will not go back to work until their demands are fully met by the university. As a union, we are looking at the welfare of our members which supersedes the interests of the management," Atella said.

He said the medical school was also facing a shortage of lecturers and an appeal to the university to employ more had failed, hence, the strike will §affect quality of training.  

KMPDU is demanding the hiring of more than 100 additional doctors to ensure medical training is not affected.

The strike by the medics will worsen because they will join other lecturers at the university who are already on a work boycott, demanding implementation of a delayed CBA and remittance of statutory deductions.

The crisis has paralysed operations at the university. The lecturers' union, UASU,  is demanding that students who were recalled recently should go back home because they are not being taught.

(Edited by V. Graham) 

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