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Nasarawa health workers desert hospitals, embark on 7-day warning strike

By Francis Nansak

Danger looms in Nasarawa State as all the health unions under the aegis of Health Professional Associations have embarked on a seven-day warning strike, deserting the various healthcare facilities in the State.

The reasons, according to them, included the non-implementation of promotions, payment of their annual increments and the non-implementation of new minimum wage law.

They are also demanding for the immediate domestication for all health workers, both at the state and local government levels and the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) entered between the federal government and health workers which cascaded to the State government.

After their meeting in Lafia, on Thursday, the associations took the decision to embark on the seven-days warning strike following the expiration of a 21-days ultimatum they gave to the government which, according to them, the government seems to have exhibited nonchalant attitude in meeting their demands.

The notice of strike action was jointly signed by the chairmen of the various associations, including MLS Kyari Caleb, Chairman Association of Medical Laboratory Scientist of Nigeria (AMLSN); Comrade Ayuba Ismaila Oko, Chairman Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN); Comrade Shawulu B.Tammah, Chairman National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM); Dr Bulus Peter Umaru, Chairman, Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) and Pharmacist Abdul-Malik Usman, Chairman Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) of Nasarawa branch.

According to the statement issued by spokesman of the group, Dr. Bulus Umaru, since the outbreak of the Coronavirus disease in the state, members of the associations have shown dedication to quality service delivery, despite being denied of their legitimate entitlements.

He added that: “Having not received any form of communication on government’s desire to address our demands despite our repeated show of understanding at different times, we issued a 21-day ultimatum for the full implementation of our demands.

“So, following the expiration of the ultimatum and government’s failure to respond, we are embarking on a 7-day warning strike effective from 12am of Friday midnight.

“With the hope that the governor will use his good offices to resolve the issues so far presented and prevent an indefinite strike action which will immediately follow this warning strike.”

The associations equally rejected the intention of the government to pay only 20%, instead of 50% of wages as directed by the federal government, to front line health workers in the fight against COVID-19.

Written by ExpressDay

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