The Employment and Labour Relations Court has on Thursday (12/1/17) sentenced seven officials of the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) to a one-month suspended jail sentence.
Justice Hellen Wasilwa ordered KMPDU officials to call off the strike and finalise negotiations in the next two weeks.
“Since I do not want the negotiations to collapse, I will give you a small window. A window that will ensure the negotiations continue but in the same vein, this window is only open for two weeks,” Judge Wasilwa ruled.
“What it means is that for today, I sentence you for one month in jail, suspended sentence which will fall down, the sentence is hanging over your heads. It will fall down on your heads within two weeks if the strike is still on,” she added.
In their defense, union officials led by their Secretary General Ouma Oluga reiterated to the court that the officials had no powers to call off the strike as had been ordered without the consent of union members.
The health officials told the court that punishing them would not address the issues in the CBA.
The officials have vowed to defy court orders, saying they will not enter into negotiations with Government until their demands are met.
The officials include: Samuel Oroko (chairman), Fredrick Oluga (secretary), Titus Ondoro, Allan Ochanji, Hamisi Chibanzi, Daisy Korir and Evelyne Chege.
On January 10, 2016, Lady Justice Wasilwa issued a warrant of arrest against the seven KMPDU officials for refusing to appear in court for sentencing after being found guilty of disobeying a court order to end the ongoing strike.
According to demands by KMPDU, doctors want a 300 per cent salary increment as the CBA signed in 2013 stipulates.
This should see the lowest paid doctor pocket Sh342,000 and the highest pocket slightly over Sh940,000 away from the current remuneration of Sh500,000 for the highest paid and Sh40,000 for the lowest paid.