NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The Kenyan government and the council
of governors on Monday threatened to sack all striking doctors who will not have
resumed work by Wednesday.
Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu
and Council of Governors Chairman Peter Munya said all vacant positions will be
advertised and new graduate doctors will be recruited to restore services in
public hospitals if the doctors fail to turn up for work.
Mailu said the Collective Bargaining
Agreement (CBA) requiring the national and county governments to raise their
salary by 300 percent is not tenable and urged the doctor’s union to accept the
government’s offer of 40 percent as was tabled last week.
The doctors on Friday rejected a
40-percent salary rise offer which was tabled by President Uhuru Kenyatta and
demanded full implementation of the CBA.
Kenya Medical Practitioners and
Dentists Union (KMPDU)’s National Advisory Council said the government’s offer
did not match the CBA which was signed in 2013.
“The government had offered an
increase in allowances to end this doctors’ strike. The union officials
today presented that offer to the doctors for deliberations and they humbly
rejected it,” KMPDU Secretary General Ouma Oluga said.
“The doctors have instructed the
leaders of our union to continue with the strike till the CBA is
implemented,” Oluga said.
The government offered to increase
salary for the lowest-paid doctors by over 550 U.S. dollars, which would raise
their salaries to over 1,950 dollars from 1,400 dollars.
Mailu stressed the government offer is
still on the table. “The increment we were giving from January this year’s still
stand and no victimization of doctors,” Mailu said.
Mailu said the government has agreed
to implement 80 percent of what doctors demanded in the CBA, with the main
contentious issue being the section requiring a 300-percent pay increment.
Mailu said the striking doctors had
not “moved an inch” toward reconciliation.
“We know the strike is illegal.
Flouting the law is not the way to solve the problems,” Mailu said.
Council of Governors Chairman Peter
Munya also criticized the doctors for rejecting the government offer and said
both the national and county governments are considering absorbing graduates to
take up vacant positions.
He said public service boards have
been instructed to begin the processes of firing striking doctors, adding they
also have permission to recover money that may have been paid to those who have
not been working.
Munya said both governments will not
wait for a solution any longer, since the doctor’s union has remained adamant
despite the national government giving them “one of the most reasonable offer.”
The standoff between public hospital
doctors and the government has pushed thousands of low-income patients to flock
ill-equipped clinics as they had no cash to visit high-cost private facilities.
Striking Kenyan doctors have reject 40 percent salary