By Ben Kirira
The Employment and Labour Relations Court has ordered striking medical doctors and other health workers back to work at the Kenyatta National Hospital.
In a ruling issued by Justice Maureen Onyango on Tuesday, September 29, the court suspended the doctors strike notice calling for a general strike pending inter parties hearing scheduled for October 6, 2020.
However, the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union(KMPDU) boss, Dr. Chibanzi Mwachonda, said that the doctors will still hit the streets if their pay review by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) will not have been implemented.
The health workers want a pay increment based on the elevation of the Kenyatta National Hospital into a parastatal in 2012, a status that resulted in an increased salary budget allocation.
Since then, the KMPDU official claims that the annual salary budget ought to have been increased by Sh601 million as okayed by the National Treasury and Parliament.
KMPDU stance put it at loggerheads with the SRC, the body mandated reviewing civil servants salaries.
On Wednesday, the SRC termed the health workers demand for pay review misguided and ill-advised, saying that the re-categorisation of the hospital does not necessarily imply that their wages should be reviewed.
The commission said that the health workers jobs did not significantly change as a result of the re-categorisation into a parastatal since their relative worth remains the same.
But the doctors claim that the salary of the KNH chief executive officer was increased after the re-categorisation yet SRC continues to give them the runaround.
Despite the standoff, the health workers are still optimistic that the Sh2.4 billion KNH has accrued since 2012 in backdated salary increment will hit their bank accounts end of next month.
If the funds are not released, the health unions vowed to terminate services at KNH beginning November 1.