Striking Doctors Accuse Ruto of Using Them as Scapegoats for Wage Bill Reduction

April 8, 2024

Striking doctors have vowed to remain steadfast until the government fully honors the 2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement.

In a statement on Sunday, April 7th, the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU) Secretary General, Davji Atellah, criticized President William Ruto following his declaration that the government couldn’t meet their demands due to lack of funds.

Ruto yesterday stated that there was a limit to what the government could spend on their salaries and allowances, adding that his administration was working towards reducing a ballooning wage bill.

In his response, Atella asserted that doctors will stand firm and reject being scapegoated for wage bill reduction. He emphasized that their salaries, which are established under the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), cannot be negotiated.

“As doctors, we adamantly reject being used as scapegoats for wage bill reduction. Our salaries, as crucial as any Kenyan’s, are based on equitable agreements. Despite governmental pressure, doctors’ salaries, governed by the CBA, are non-negotiable.”

The union affirmed its commitment to ensuring fair compensation for its members’ diligent work.

“It is unfair to single us out for wage bill control while state officers enjoy substantial paychecks. We remain steadfast against exploitation,” Atella declared.

The doctors who initiated the strike on March 15, effectively halting operations in public hospitals, are now urging the government to demonstrate goodwill by fully executing the seven-year pay deal.

KMPDU insisted that the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) is an inviolable document, and its complete implementation is the initial indicator of goodwill from the employer.

“Its belittling and dismissal will always invite the wrath of workers anywhere in the world!” the Union added.

KMPDU has mobilized doctors, medical interns, and students to participate in nationwide peaceful demonstrations scheduled for Tuesday, April 9, 2024.

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