Court Stops Doctors’ Strike

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Court Stops Doctors’ Strike

The Court has stopped the planned doctors’ notice for a strike to allow for a resolution to the impasse. The Employment and Labour Relations Court

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The Court has stopped the planned doctors’ notice for a strike to allow for a resolution to the impasse.

The Employment and Labour Relations Court has ordered a stay on the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union’s (KMPDU) go slow. The strike was to take effect after midnight of Wednesday, March 14th, 2024.

The Kenyatta National Hospital had moved to court seeking to bar doctors working at the hospital from going on strike, after the lapse of the 7 day strike notice, even as KMPDU remains defiant that the strike will go on as planned.

Judge Byram Ongaya issued the orders on Wednesday, in response to a certificate of urgency filed by James Kounah Advocate and supported by an affidavit from Jane Akunda, both dated March 12, 2024.

According to Judge Ongaya, the stay of the orders will create a favourable environment for negotiations and agreement on essential services to continue during a potential strike.

“Pending the return date or further orders by the Court and pending the determination and filing of the agreement on the minimum safety services mentioned in order 2 above, there shall be stay of the taking effect of the strike notice and going on strike of the union’s members as notified in the strike notice,” the orders read.

To resolve the impasse, the court also directed Florence Bore, Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Labour and Social Services, to call a tripartite meeting by noon on Thursday, March 14, 2024.

The meeting will include representatives from the KMPDU, respondent officials, and public service employers listed in the union’s strike notice.

The goal is to negotiate and reconcile the grievances raised in the strike notice, particularly those concerning minimum safety services during a potential strike.

Doctors under the Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentist Union (KMPDU) issued the 7-day strike notice on March 6, citing delays in the placement of medical interns.

In a quick rejoinder, Nakumicha dismissed the doctors demands as being unrealistic, reiterating that the Ministry’s hands are tied on the issue of Interns Placement.

“We cannot do anything as a Ministry, it’s up to the Treasury to facilitate…the Government cannot cater for over 3,000 interns at this time, they have to be realistic,” Nakhumicha said then.

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