April 22, 2019

Government withdraws Sh14.5billion offer for striking doctors

By Waweru Titus

The Government has cancelled a Sh14.5 billion offer it earlier offered doctors to end their strike that has lasted for over three months now.

The State authorities who cancelled the offer on Tuesday (7/03/17), had proposed backdating 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 amounted to Sh570 million.

According to the Council of Governors Chairman (CoG) Peter Munya, the offer also included a 50 per cent increase in the medics salaries.

Mr Munya noted that the deal was withdrawn as a result of the firm stand that the medics maintained on the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) signed in 2013.

Failure by doctors to accept the Sh600 million offer led to drastic action by the government.

“This additional offer was on condition that the doctors call off the strike and report to work today (Tuesday) morning,” Mr Munya noted.

“Consequently, as a result of the doctors failure to call off the strike, the government has now rescinded this offer and there will be no further negotiations on remuneration,” he added.

The CoG boss was speaking at a press conference attended by President Uhuru Kenyatta in the ongoing devolution conference in Naivasha.

President Uhuru accused the health workers of blackmailing the government into giving into their demands, which he said were impossible to meet.

The Head of State emphasised that the government shall not succumb to coercion.

“We will not succumb to threats and intimidation. Do these doctors think we are that stupid? You only work for two hours in government facilities and then run to your private clinics!” he stated.

“We have offered you better salaries than those in private hospitals. Medical interns in government hospitals will earn more than what doctors at Aga Khan, Nairobi and Mater Hospitals earn,” he stressed.

The President reiterated that should the ongoing talks being mediated by religious leaders fail, action shall be taken against the doctors.

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