Communication to members from the Secretary General

Brothers and Sisters in the KMPDU family;

Let me start by thanking the membership for the calm that has existed over the last few weeks within our union. I have stated before and we all know that very little can be achieved in an environment of constant volatility. I am therefore glad to state that a lot of work has been ongoing.

Communication.

We have had to cut down on the frequency of communication due to several important reasons. We have made a conscious shift towards channeling our communication through the newly established branches. This is in line with our desire to officialize such communication as a means of protecting it from the bizarre allegations, pessimism, profane mutilation and altercation we have witnessed on official posts made to the general membership on social media. We want to embrace and leverage on tested and proven modes of operation when handling sensitive, official communication. We are responsible for maintaining a certain level of respect and decorum within our ranks. Otherwise we may be left to watch as our union degenerates into a shell of anarchy and disorganization. We have also found it prudent to concentrate our energies on expediting the very urgent matters before us. Considerable amounts of energy and duration of time is required in addressing some of the many issues that crop up in such exchanges and hence high chances of being caught up with time before clearing urgent matters.

Branches

Following the nationwide branch elections held in August, I am excited to report to you that our 10 branches have finally been registered by the registrar of trade unions. These are Nairobi, Coast, Western, Nyanza, North Rift, South Rift, Central, Upper Eastern, Lower Eastern and North Eastern. This follows a tireless effort by the NEC (with Dr. Somba taking the lead) in lobbying for this registration even after not being able to meet all the requirements. I want to express my gratitude to the registrar for his understanding in giving us a generous benefit of the doubt in the spirit of allowing us time to build the requisite structures within our young union. The registration certificates have since been dispatched to the relevant branch secretaries.

Delegates

Our constitution provides that each branch will have delegates, selected as per article VI, part A section C (2). To this end, we urgently need to provide a list of members not in arrears, upon whom delegates will be nominated. Our Branch executive committees (BECs) have been working on this nomination exercise over the past month. The process has turned out to be slow with regard to the timelines within which we are working. In lieu of the time left before we hold our National Delegates’ Conference (NDC) which will act as an Annual Delegates’ Conference (ADC), I am requesting all members to help speed up this process by sending their Full name, Personal number and DU number to your branch Secretaries. You are also requested to copy the same information with the addition of your Branch (specify your county in case of North and South Rift, Upper and Lower Eastern) as an e-mail to iec@kmpdu.org or by text to 0706754817. Our office administrator, Nicholas, will be working on harmonizing all messages received so that the national office can work in tandem with the branch offices to speed up the nomination process while authenticating them at the same time. It is extremely important that we nominate these delegates at least 2 weeks before the delegates’ conference which is slated for the 15th of December 2012. I would hate to see a situation where we have to postpone this delegates’ conference due to lack of delegates. I am totally hopeful that we will step this exercise up so that we meet our deadlines. This is one of those important roles that members may be called upon to play from time to time. Take the initiative and ensure that as many members as possible send in this information as soon as possible. Liaise with your BECs so that we can pull this off. This will enable us put legally acceptable stop gap measures in place, which will enable us have as many delegates as possible attending the NDC. Our union badly needs to put its structures in place now, more than ever before. We therefore have to ensure that we get the first steps right.

The ADC

During this ADC, crucial matters will be discussed, and important decisions made. Audited union accounts will be presented. Clear guidelines on expenditure of union funds and resources will be considered and approved. Major anticipated union expenses and budgets, including purchase of union assets will also be discussed. This will include action on the recommendations by the standing committee on remunerations and expenditure. The union’s constitution is also set to be reviewed secondary to the speed with which the standing committee on constitution review expedites it’s work (it is already late in submitting the amended draft as per the provisions of article XV section 1 of our constitution). Nec decisions such as the suspension of the former acting Secretary General (Dr. Onyino Were) as well as the decision to step aside by our substantive Secretary General (Dr. Boniface Chitayi) will be discussed and directions given. This is cognizant with the fact that the ADC is the topmost decision making organ of the union.

The CBA

We are making great progress with the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) process. We are now at the point that matters most – Remuneration. Once we are done with this, we will conclude the process within a matter of days. All indications are that we will settle for an excellent package for our members. I have however sent out appeals before that the details of the CBA negotiations mustn’t be discussed outside of the negotiation table. I will therefore discourage members from going too deep into this matter. I am however requesting those members who may have information on the current pay packages for the countries to which our doctors flee in search of economic refuge, to share it with us so that we can use it to justify our proposal. For now, just know that so far, so good. There are other big concessions we have already made outside of pay, details of which you will get as soon as it will be safe. The completed document must be presented to the Salaries and Remuneration commission (SRC) by December 31st 2012 if we are to have the new salary scales effected within the next financial year. Plans have been put in place to achieve this.

The HSC

We got confirmation last week that the establishment of the Health Service Commission (HSC) is well on track. We will be following this up very closely together with the standing committee on HSC as well as the leadership of the peremende movement to ensure that this vital commission is established. My take is that this will be the biggest gain KMPDU will ever make. Let’s keep praying for the establishment of the HSC.

Registrars

We have encountered numerous problems while addressing the issues of our registrars. The 157 jobs that were to be advertised and recruitment done by end of November have been dealt yet another blow. Our contact at the PSC informs me that pending the appointment of another commission, no advertisements will be carried out. It will be remembered that the indents which had been prepared about a month ago had been lying on the desk of the PS for her signature until the week before last when it was finally sent to PSC. We are however still consulting and have even indulged the Minister MOMS to find out if the process can be moved forward under a special arrangement. In the same meeting with the minister, it was agreed that the fees problem for the part I registrars would be discussed in a meeting that he has scheduled for tomorrow, Tuesday the 26th with the PS, DMS, CEO Kenyatta and other stake holders. The issue of the 2010/2011 group will also be looked at within the same process. Details of these processes will be communicated as they become available.

Interns

The 16 interns who were working on voluntary basis have already been posted. The remaining 60 will be posted ASAP. 310 additional positions have been granted by Ministry of State Public Service (MSPS) to increase the number of interns under the revolving fund arrangement from 715 to 1025. Being awaited is approval from Treasury and assurance that the funds have been allocated, then hiring follows. This is being actively followed up by HR, who are in turn being actively followed up by the union. The newly graduated group of interns should be posted much earlier than usual if efforts by the union to engage the ministry regarding their deployment succeed. I am in the coming few days going to appoint a dedicated committee to look into ways of shortening the lapse period since this is a paradoxical problem where doctors stay unemployed yet there is a biting shortage in the country. We are addressing this issue exhaustively in our CBA as well. Henceforth, interns will be absorbed immediately they clear their studies. Unfortunately, the provisions within the CBA will take effect starting July 2013.

Call Allowance

This chronic problem keeps on getting more and more complicated. After agreeing that all KMPDU members will receive call allowance, a few individuals within the ranks of the ministry are still arguing that call allowances can only be paid to field officers. This hitch has been traced to emanate from the HR department. We are trying to lobby the top ministry officials to end this stalemate. We are however considering our options, including legal redress if nothing comes out of the lobbying process. This particular issue seems to have been repackaged into a deliberate effort to try and frustrate our union by causing dissatisfaction among a section of the membership. I hereby urge all affected members not to be swayed by these cheap gimmicks. We will ensure that your dues come through as a priority. All we can say right now is that at the end of the day, we will stop at nothing short of all our members getting what is rightfully theirs.

Promotions

THIS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. All those members whose promotions were due yet they never got promoted, all those whose promotions delayed in the past yet they had met all the requirements for promotion, get in touch with me immediately. Send an e-mail clearly stating all your facts directly to me on sultan@kmpdu.org. Indicate your personal details, when your promotion was due, when it was effected (or state that it is yet to be effected where applicable) This only applies to the promotions' group. I have a meeting with Mr. Njoroge of HR this week and we will be going through this issue case by case. We will be seeking to provide a solution to this promotion issue once and for all. Inform all KMPDU memebers you may know who may have had this problem.

Other issues

I want to encourage all members to regularize their membership with their branches. Moving forward, this union will need to develop a new strength in strategic might from solid membership. We might not be in a good position to keep on going onto the streets to agitate for our rights. In the meantime at least, we need to make a paradigm shift and strengthen our capability to battle within the boardroom. We can only achieve this if we regularize our membership and also reach out to all our colleagues to join the union. Our weakest point as we speak lies in the fact that many doctors are yet to be captured as union members 2 years since our registration. The strength of any union is in its membership. We therefore must strive to strengthen our union through active recruitment of our colleagues who are still out there. Soon we will be posting updated members’ rolls for your information and to aid you in the recruitment process. The NEC will also embark on an aggressive recruitment exercise once we dispense with the pressing matters currently trending.

Once again, thanks for the patience and support. This journey is long and tedious, and some may give up and try to abandon the dream. Many have given up, even before taking on it. We chose to take on it. Together we have covered a good distance, a substantial distance. We know the far we have come, and more importantly, we know what distance is left to cover. We shall cover it. Keep praying for our union. Together we shall achieve all that we set out to achieve. Keep blessed and in solidarity with all siblings. Don’t forget to send your details to our office administrator and the branch secretaries. Together, we shall achieve.

Dr. Sultani Matendechero, Ag Secretary General.



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