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KMPDU offers new demands, asks doctors not to fall for threats

By Antynet Ford

The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists, and Dentist Union has advised doctors not to abandon the ongoing strike over threats by governors for them to return to work or be sacked.

The union condemned the recent return to work orders by several counties saying that they will not allow their members to go fall for intimidation while they are fighting for better healthcare working conditions.

“KMPDU condemns in the strongest terms the recent threats issued by various county governors, management of national referral hospitals, and the Ministry of Health demanding doctors return to work under duress.

We categorically denounce such attempts to intimidate and coerce our members into abandoning our legitimate struggle for better working conditions and healthcare services for all Kenyans. Doctors deserve decent and dignified work.” The statement by the Union read in part.

The union said it is concerned that their issues are not addressed and that what they get are threats.

“It is deeply disappointing that instead of addressing the critical issues that we raised in our strike notice, the employers have chosen to resort to threats and intimidation tactics. We want to make it clear that doctors will not be intimidated or coerced back to work until all the concerns raised in our strike notice are fully resolved.

They asked the governors to focus their attention and efforts on addressing the myriad of issues affecting healthcare workers in their respective places of work and national and county institutions

In addition to condemning what they refer to as threats, KMPDU has made new demands they want settled.

“Settle outstanding seven-year basic salary arrears owed to doctors, expedite the promotion of all doctors who are due for promotions, and recruit more doctors to alleviate the chronic understaffing crisis in national and county healthcare facilities. Provide comprehensive medical cover for all doctors to ensure their well-being and that of their families, address the perennial issue of salary delays, convert all doctors on discriminatory contracts to permanent and pensionable terms to afford persons job security, decent and dignified work, and reinstate the doctors who were illegally dismissed in Kirinyaga County.”

“Release doctors for specialized training to enhance their skills and improve the quality of healthcare services. Post medical interns immediately, as enshrined in the CBA. Pay post-graduate doctors who are slaving and working for free in KNH, MTRH, KUTTRH, and other training institutions. Perform all actions towards continuous progressive labor relations as defined under the principles of collective bargaining.” They have demanded.

KMPDU holds that strikes are a fundamental tool and cornerstone of collective bargaining and a last resort for workers to compel belligerent employers to engage in meaningful negotiations.

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