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Doctors to file report on progress of negotiations

Kenya national human rights chairperson Kagwiria Mbogori briefs on the update on the court ruling on the medical practitioners strike,the chairperson stated that the Kenya national human rights commission and central organization on trade unions were appointed as mediators to the ongoing doctors strike at their offices in CVS Plaza on 13th FEBRUARY 2017 PHOTO DAVID GICHURU

A report detailing how far negotiations to end the doctors’ strike have gone will be filed in court today.

During a hearing last week, when the doctors protested against a one-month jail sentence for union officials, the Court of Appeal not only released the seven union leaders but also gave the parties seven days to settle outstanding matters.

The court further directed that a progressive report on the outcome of the talks should be filed on or before February 23.

Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) and the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) have been spearheading the talks.

Yesterday, the co-chairs of the negotiating team revealed there was progress in various ‘aspects’ of the dispute. This is considering that salaries appear to be the bone of contention.

“However, there are certain issues that are still pending and the parties have taken a short recess to consider their respective positions,” read a statement signed by LSK’s John Ohaga and KNCHR chairperson Kagwiria Mbogori.

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The co-chairs said the mediation team would use the ‘time out’ to prepare the progressive report. Discussions have been going on since February 17.

Doctors have been on strike since December 5, 2016, and are pushing for better pay and improved working conditions among other things.

“The panel of mediators reiterates that all parties are still confined to the confidentiality of the mediation process,” said Ms Mbogori.

She added that both the Government and the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union were still committed to the talks and had confidence in the negotiation team.

“It is our hope that the mediation can resume at 2pm on Thursday subject to the directions of the court,” she said.

The talks are said to have been suspended on Monday after Dennis Itumbi, State House director of digital communication, spilled the beans on the progress made. Mr Itumbi used social media to reveal that everything was agreed except the salary package.

He went on to claim that doctors in some counties would start enjoying the benefits as of July in line with other civil servants’ terms of service.

 

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