Sunday, May 26, 2024

We won’t be exploited or turned into scapegoats for our hard work, doctors tell Ruto

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The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) has told off President William Ruto over his claim that the government has no money to pay them the salaries they are demanding for.

Speaking on Sunday, KMPDU Secretary General Dr. Davji Bhimji Atellah stated that the government was out to exploit doctors by making them scapegoats while rewarding other State officers with hefty paychecks and budget allocations.

“As doctors, we refuse to be scapegoats for wage bill reduction. Our salaries, vital like any Kenyan’s, are based on fair agreements,” said Dr. Atellah.

“Despite government pressure, doctors’ salaries, anchored on the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), are non-negotiable. We won’t compromise on fair compensation for our hard work. It’s unjust to target us for wage bill control while state officers enjoy hefty paychecks. We stand united against exploitation.”

On Sunday, President Ruto had claimed that the government could only afford to pay the striking doctors a stipend of Sh. 70,000 per intern for a period of one year.

“I know we have a situation with doctors and medical interns. I would like to implore them to agree to live within our means. We cannot continue to spend money we don’t have,” President Ruto had claimed.

Last week, the government had instructed the medics to return to work saying it had released Sh. 2.4 billion. However, the KMPDU refused to accept the offer.

“This was impunity of the highest order, you cannot purport to have released Sh. 2.4 billion for the intern doctors yet you have reduced their salaries by 91 per cent. This is utter contempt. We will not entertain this,” Dr. Atellah had said in a rebuttal.

He added that the government is reducing the internship pay for the junior doctors by 91 per cent.

“For them to be paid as per the Salaries and Renumeration Commission (SRC), it means they have gone against the 2017 court order which ordered the implementation of the CBA. They are in contempt. Ideally, the budget to cover all medical interns was Sh. 4.8 billion and they have reduced the salaries by half,” said Dr. Atellah.

Doctors’ Strike: Why doctors are refusing to go back to work

“There is a need to distinguish these junior doctors from other interns in the public service. Besides working beyond the legal limit of work hours, they endure exposure to life-threatening occupational risks.”

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