Following the events that transpired yesterday, 13th February, where Seven Kenya Medical Practioners and Dentist Union (KMPDU) were jailed for contempt of court after failing to call off a doctors’ strike. One might ask what exactly are the Doctors fighting for?
First we get to see that Doctors downed their tools on December 5th, accusing the government of failing to implement a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) signed in June 27, 2013. But, what were the contents of the disputed agreement?
The 2013 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) signed by the Government and the then KMPDU Secretary general Sultani Matendechero and chairman Victor Ng’ani on June 27, 2013 would see a 300% pay hike to all medical practitioners.
The agreement also included a review of job groups, promotions, deployment as well as the annual recruitment of 1,200 doctors annually to reduce the doctor patient ratio to 1: 16000 Kenyans.
If implemented, the 2013 CBA would see the lowest paid doctor earn a salary of over Ksh300, 000 and the highest paid would earn slightly under Ksh.1 million per month.
The House allowance would rise to between Ksh.30, 000 and Ksh.120, 000 depending on the job group, up from between Ksh.20, 000 and Ksh.80, 000.
Extraneous allowance would range between Ksh.60,000 and Ksh.100,000 per month, up from between Ksh.30,000 and Ksh.40,000, while commuter allowance would have gone up to between Ksh.20,000 and Ksh.50,000, up from between Ksh.6,000 and Ksh.16,000.
Non-practicing allowance would have remained at between Ksh.12, 000 to Ksh.60,000 per month.
The CBA provided that all doctors in public facilities would work 40 hours per week and any extra hours would be compensated.
However, the Government has persistently argued that CBA is exaggerated and did not involve the salaries body – Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC), and the Council of Governors.
But what exactly did the doctors’ reject?
The Government offered to raise the entry level grade into the public service for doctors to Job Group “M” from Job Group “L”, a grade it terms as higher than the normal entry level for other public servants and recognizes doctors’ professional training.
The Government further offered to raise the Enhanced Emergency Call allowance to Ksh.66,000 from the current Ksh.30,000 for Job Group L; Ksh.72,000 from Ksh.30,000 for Job Groups M-P; and Ksh.80,000 from Ksh.30,000 for Job Groups Q and above.
The Government also offered a new Doctors’ Risk allowance at a flat rate of Ksh.10,000 per month.
The sum total of the Government’s offer means that the minimum gross salary for doctors will increase to Ksh.196,989 from the current Ksh.140,244 at full implementation at the current entry Job Group L.
The total impact of the Government offer on the exchequer will be an additional expenditure of Ksh.4 billion annually – shared among the nation’s 5,000 doctors.
The Government offer will also bring the remuneration of doctors in line with the labour market.