Resident doctors resume work after 10-day strike - The No.1 Infotainment blog

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Friday, 15 September 2017

Resident doctors resume work after 10-day strike

Following the suspension of its nationwide strike yesterday, the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) are expected to resume work today. The union had called off the strike after the Federal Government agreed to address the issues under contention, by implementing the contents of the renegotiated Memorandum of Settlement, including payment of salaries, allowances and other issues.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, and the National President of NARD, Dr. John Onyebueze, stated that the doctors have resolved to suspend the strike action, and to reassess the situation in two weeks’ time during its annual general meeting in Abuja. The message, which was signed by the President of NARD, had directed all its members to resume work 8a.m., today.
This decision to return back to duties, it was gathered, came after the aggrieved unions started receiving notification of payment of monies owed them by the Federal Government on Tuesday.

“After due consideration of the efforts by government and progress made in addressing the items on the notice of our ultimatum, and strike, as well as implementing the contents of the re-negotiated MTS, NARD resolved to suspend its 10- day strike, and to re-assess situation in two weeks at our AGM in Abuja. “We sincerely thank the public, press and our families for their support during this period of strike,” he said.“We met from 6p.m. on Tuesday to 12:15a.m., Thursday to review the status of our nationwide strike and the offer from government in the renegotiated Memorandum of Terms of Settlement with the Federal Government.
NARD suspended its strike a day after the joint health sector unions gave notice of embarking on an indefinite strike starting from Wednesday next week, if the Federal Government fails to honour its demands.
The resident doctors embarked on the nationwide strike on September 4. Meanwhile, the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU), University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan branch, yesterday issued a fresh 14-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to pay up all the outstanding debts of its members or risk an indefinite strike that will shut down health facilities nationwide.

The two-week ultimatum by JOHESU took effect from yesterday, Thursday, September 14th. The five unions that constitute JOHESU whose members addressed journalists yesterday at the School of Nursing, UCH, Ibadan included: the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Nigerian Union of Allied Health Professionals (NUAHP), Non Academic Staff Union of Universities and Tertiary Institutions (NASU), Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN), and Senior Staff Association of Universities, Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes and Associated Institutions (SSAUTHRIAI). Chairman, NUAHP, Victor Sotiloye, said the failure of the government to meet the demands of the workers will result in the unions mobilising all her members to withdraw their services.The three-point demand by the health workers, under the auspices of JOHESU, includes payment of promotion arrears for years 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016; payment of salary arrears due to shortfall experienced in 2014, 2015 and 2016; and remitting of the unremitted union dues and deductions made from cooperative societies.
He appealed to members of JOHESU to bear with the union on the hardship the decision might expose them to, saying, the decision to down tools came as a last resort. “It is a general knowledge that the health sector has become another ‘Animal Farm’ where all animals are equal, but some are ‘more equal’ than others.
This is evident in the way the Federal Government, through the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) is treating our members who constitute 95 per cent of the labour force in the health sector. “Our members have been cheated, shortchanged and demoralised over the years.

“Meanwhile, having been patient over the years, we have come to discover that our silence and maturity has been misinterpreted to be foolishness. All available means of peaceful dialogue have been exhausted to no avail. We have been pushed to the walls and we are left with no other option than to cry out,” he added. Meanwhile, the Federal Government, in a quick reaction, has appealed to the leadership of JOHESU, to prevail on its members to shelve their planned strike action.Having a good understanding of the nature of our job, and that of the system where we render service, we have always exercised restraints when it comes to the declaration of industrial action.

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