The doctors who were dismissed from employment by the Kirinyaga County government have been reinstated by the Public Service Commission (PSC) after three years in the cold.
The 24 doctors were dismissed following a year-long stalemate that began in May 2019.
The Kenya Medical practitioners and dentist union (KMPDU) filed a complaint on behalf of 24 doctors in October last year and the PSC has faulted the disciplinary process used in reinstating them but without pay for the entire dismissal period.
According to the doctors, the board did not consider any facts and the dismissal did not follow any laid down agreements as per the collective bargaining agreement. They were also not given adequate time to respond to the dismissal as per the HR manual which prescribes at least 10 days.
Demands from the doctors included; the commission to set aside the decision made by the county public service board without any loss of benefit, reinstatement of dismissed doctors, release of any withheld payments and that the doctors would be reinstated in the previous capacity with full benefits.
The commission had requested the county public service board to present its comments over the matter, but it failed to do so.
This is contrary to the County government public service appeals procedure 2016, which stipulates that response should be delivered within 14 days since receipt.
The PSC thus ruled that no disciplinary processes were followed and that the entire dismissal period to resumption of duty shall be treated as leave without pay.
Dr Goody Gor, the KMPDU Central branch secretary, said “we welcome the ruling and we appreciate the fact that the commission recognised that the strike was valid and the firing was very unprocedural” as the three years have been devastating for the doctors.
“Some of these doctors had plans, some had bills and with the harsh economy, the three years have been a trying period in their lives. The battle is not over as the three years have been rendered as unpaid leave, however, that is a battle for another day,” says Gor adding that they will resume negotiations with the county later.
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