Give dialogue a chance, Labour CS Florence Bore tells striking doctors

Florence Bore

Cabinet Secretary for Labour and Social Protection Florence Bore when she appeared before the Public Petitions Committee at Bunge Towers Nairobi on March 20, 2024. 

Photo credit: Dennis Onsongo | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • CS calls on all stakeholders to work towards restoring normalcy in the sector.
  • President William Ruto recently said the country cannot live beyond its means.

Striking doctors in the country have been asked to consider the lives of Kenyans and the negative impact of their industrial action.

Cabinet Secretary for Labour, Florence Bore, has further asked the medics to give dialogue a chance.

In a statement, the CS said there was a need for all stakeholders to work together to accelerate the government's efforts to restore normalcy in the health sector.

The CS further said the matters raised by the striking medics have received attention at the highest level and that all parties should have faith in each other to resolve the matter once and for all.

“The ongoing industrial action in the health sector is a matter of serious concern to the government of Kenya and all well-meaning Kenyans who understand the special services rendered by workers in the sector. The withdrawal of their labour is unfortunate and should not persist any further,” Ms Bore said.

At the same time, Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists Dentists Union (KMPPDU), Kenya Union of Clinical Officers (KUCO) and Kenya National Union of Medical Laboratory Officers (KNUMLO) have been informed that whereas the freedom of industrial action is provided for in the Constitution, the right to strike is not absolute and is limited by the Constitution under Article 24 to the extent defined by law. 

“The right to strike is not absolute and is limited by the Constitution under Article 24 to the extent defined by law. The Labour Relations Act, 2007 establishes grounds when strikes and lockouts may be protected in part,” the CS said.

The Cabinet Secretary all said the Employment and Labour Relations Court has pronounced itself on the matter, which should be heeded by both parties.

"Parties should co-operate and act in good faith to finding a settlement to these issues. The resolution of this dispute and a lasting solution, can only be found through Social Dialogue and the sooner parties realize this the better,” Ms Bore said.

Further, the CS said industrial peace and harmony must be maintained at all times for the well-being of everyone, economic progress and national development of this country, regardless of one’s position.

On Thursday, Opposition leader Mr Raila Odinga asked the government to listen to the doctors and allow them to resume to their duties without further delay.

But even with the increased calls for the government to strike a deal with the striking medics, President William Ruto is on record for stating that the government cannot meet the demands of the doctors.

President Ruto recently said doctors must understand the state of the country, and that it cannot live beyond its means.