‘We will resume talks once you suspend strike’ – Felix Koskei tells doctors

By , K24 Digital
On Thu, 11 Apr, 2024 13:16 | 2 mins read
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Head of Public Service Felix Koskei during a past function. PHOTO/Felix Koskei(@koske_felix)/X

Head of Public Service Felix Koskei has assured striking doctors that the government is willing to resume talks so long as they suspend the ongoing strike which entered its 28th day.

In a letter addressed to Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) Secretary General (SG) Davji Atellah, Koskei noted that the Whole of the Nation Committee is willing to convene a meeting within 24 hours if the doctors obey the court order and halt the strike.

"The committee shall convene within 24 hours of KMPDU suspension of the strike in full compliance with order of the Principal Judge of the Employment and Labour Relations Court of Kenya," Koskei said.

Koskei heads the committee which comprises four representatives from KMPDU, seven from the Council of Governors (CoG), three from the Ministry of Health (MoH), one from the National Treasury and one from the Ministry of Public Service.

The committee was structured to help resolve the impasse between the government and health workers.

The first meeting was convened on March 21, 2024, during the time, 19 issues were raised by the medics, forcing the committee to structure a technical sub-committee to help address the issues.

The sub-committee classified the concerns raised to iron out the issues and convened another meeting on March 27, 2024.

"Whereas the whole of nation approach committee convened on March 27 for the second meeting, the session could not proceed for want of KMPDU’s non-compliance with the court order to suspend the ongoing industrial action," Koskei added.

Despite this, the doctors have remained steadfast to the strike and have vowed that they will halt the strike when the government meets their demands.

The situation has continued to raise concerns across the country with religious leaders appealing to the government to intervene.

Addressing the matter on Sunday, April 7, 2024, President William Ruto said the government could not meet the financial demands raised by the striking doctors.

Ruto said the country was already overspending on salaries reiterating that the government had no money to increase doctors' salaries.

The Head of State further stressed that the country should live within its means to help reduce the wage bill.

“It is important for us to agree that we must live within our means. We cannot continue to spend the money we do not have. Our wage bill is 47 per cent of our revenue. It should be 35 per cent according to the law. So we are way above. We need a conversation so that those of us who earn salaries are responsible. And we can reduce our wage bill so that we can free more resources to create jobs for our young people," Ruto said.

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