Resident doctors resume duties as JOHESU issues fresh strike notice
• Govt, varsities’ non-academic workers begin negotiations
Members of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) are expected to be at their duty posts this morning having suspended their 10-day industrial action.
The President of the Association, Dr. John Onyebueze, who disclosed this in Abuja yesterday, was however quick to add that the association would review the implementation of the agreement it reached with government, with a view to resume the action, or continue working.
He added: “After due consideration of the efforts by the Federal Government to end the strike 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 memorandum of settlement, NARD resolved to suspend her 10 days strike, and to re-access the situation in two weeks at our Annual General Meeting slated for Abuja. Accordingly, members are to resume work 8:00am Friday, September 15, 2017.”
The doctors are protesting against the failure of the Federal Government to pay salary shortfall of 2016 and January to May 2017; rectify the salary shortfall from August 2017; circularize House Officers’ entry point; correct the stagnation of promotion of their members and properly place them on their appropriate grade level; enroll and capture NARD members on the Integrated Personnel Payment Information System (IPPIS) and to budget, deduct and remit both the employer and employees’ contributions our pension to NARD members’ retirement savings account since 2013.
In a related development, the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU), an umbrella body of all workers in the health sector, University College Hospital (UCH) branch yesterday issued a fresh 14-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to pay up all the outstanding deductions owed its members or risk an indefinite strike.
The ultimatum according to the unions took effect from yesterday, Thursday, September 14, 2017.The five-member unions spoke at a press conference/congress, which held at the School of Nursing, UCH, Ibadan, yesterday.
Speaking on behalf of the group, Chairman, Nigerian Union of Allied Health Professionals (NUAHP), Comrade Victor Sotiloye said the failure of the government to meet the demands of the workers will result in the unions mobilizing all her members to withdraw their services.
The fresh ultimatum is, another leg to an earlier one issued by the national body of the union noting that the branch would join the national directive as soon as it is declared or embark on her own threat, should the national body changes her mind on the initial threat.
The ultimatum by the national body of the union would lapse next week Wednesday.The three-point demand placed before the government by the workers included, 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.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government and three non-academic unions in the universities that included the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU), National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) and Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) have begun negotiation over their grievances.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige and his Education counterpart, Adamu Adamu led the Federal Government team while the unions, were led by their presidents.