A narrative has been woven that the Doctors’ strike has been exacerbated by the refusal of the county government to implement the CBA and lack of dialogue with the health practitioners. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Following the signing of that CBA in 2017, the Council of Governors in consultation with the Doctor’s National Union, developed an implementation matrix that was sent to the counties to guide the development of individual County CBA Implementation Matrices.
Kisumu County CBA Implementation Matrix;
The CBA Implementation Committee comprising members of the executive and the County KMPDU leadership was inaugurated and commenced work in February 2019.
The committee completed and jointly adopted “Kisumu County CBA Implementation Matrix” in mid-March which was then tabled in the county cabinet and approved for implementation in April.
The County expeditiously proceeded with the implementation of the CBA as outlined in the matrix recommendations achieving 95% within six months. Some of the specific issues outlined include;
- Union Rights;
That Union and other statutory deductions are remitted on time and on a regular basis. This has been achieved and ongoing.
- Employment Conditions;
Establish suitable doctors’ call rooms in all level IV hospitals. The County has since built 10 Call Rooms at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital at a cost of 9 million which will be ready for use in two months. There are also plans to build call rooms in all the Sub County hospitals.
- Doctors’ Rights;
Carrying out a training needs assessment for doctors and releasing employees eligible for professional development. My government has currently sponsored and sent out 15 Doctors for training in different institutions.
Promotion of doctors to their correct job groups. This was the only pending issue and is currently being effected with the individual letters of promotion being drawn up by the County Public Service.
The implementation of the doctors’ promotions was discussed and agreed with the Union to be effected by December owing to the budgetary processes involved. This was achieved last week when the cabinet approved that appropriation and the communication conveyed to the Public Service Board and the Union. The letters are now here with us one week and half later.
What is most disturbing is that as soon as the information was conveyed to KMPDU through their Nyanza Branch Chairperson, they went ahead and declared the industrial action.
In view of the above, it is quite clear that the County Government has adhered to the CBA implementation Matrix, constantly been in consultation with the Union leadership and has engaged with the doctors with utmost sincerity and openness.
What then is the import of these constant calls to strike? Is there something at play that is necessitating the use of innocent people’s lives as pawns? Does the Hippocratic Oath mean anything to our doctors? Are the doctors so conflicted in their interest? What is the role of the stakeholders such as the media in bringing to the open these conflicted interests?
This strike by Kisumu doctors is therefore unfortunate, inappropriate and unwarranted and cannot be tagged to the CBA implementation.
Nowhere has a CBA Implementation matrix been achieved in totality within six months. Kisumu has! Is that not respect for the symbiotic relationship with workers?
Kisumu Government Spokesperson.