Health Workers in Kaduna state have defied Governor El- Rufai’s threat as they commence 7-day warning strike.
A communiqué issued and signed by Dr Danjuma Sule, Dr Emmanuel Joseph, Dr Sayyid Egbunu Mjhammed, Mr Ibrahim Abashe, Pharm. Bagu Great David, Ibrahim Lawal Suleiman, Ayuba Magaji, Nurse Ishaku Yakubu, Dr Stephen Kachi Akau, Dr Jinad Jibril Olawale, Lawal T. B., Enock I. Dodo, William Anthony and Sa’adatu Abdulwahab from MDCAN BDTH, ARD, Kaduna, ARD BDTH, National Association of Pharmaceutical Technologists Nigeria, AHAPN, Kaduna branch, Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria, Kaduna state chapter, NANNM, Kaduna state council, NMA, Kaduna state chapter, Nigeria Society of Physiotherapy, Kaduna state chapter, AMLSN, Kaduna branch, Environmental Health Officers Association of Nigeria, NANNM BDTH and AHAPN BDTH respectively at the end the joint meeting of Kaduna State Healthcare Workers Unions and Associations said the meeting was called to assess the response of the Kaduna state government to their earlier communication and notice of a 7- days warning strike to press home their demands.
The Doctors observed that the Kaduna state government deducted 25% of the salaries from about 11,000 of her Healthcare workers in the midst of COVID 19 ( April and May), stressing that the action was done in violation of section 5 of the Labour Act.
The communiqué noted that healthcare workers feel rejected and unappreciated by the Kaduna state government and are therefore demoralized and unmotivated.
“We also note that there are inaccuracies in the reportage of our challenges and the issues at hand,” the communiqué stressed.
The communiqué clarified, “Kaduna State Government paid between 150,000 to 450,000 naira as Occupational Safety incentives to about 300 selected HCWs and non HCWs working as staff or volunteer in the IDCC and isolation centre or serving in some of the CoViD 19 pillars. Less than 2% of the HCWs in the State benefited from the packages.
“They promised 10 per cent incentives for other HCWs though inadequate are yet to be paid.
Most HCWs that were infected with COVID-19 are from health facilities outside the IDCC and isolation centres and none of them have been paid the purported #100,000 daily for 10 days.
“None of our members working in hospitals have been contacted to give their details for the widely publicized N5million and the N2 million life and disability insurance respectively.
“All health workers are exposed to varying degrees of risk of infectious diseases such as CoViD 19, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, Lassa fever, Ebola fever among others. There are no adequate PPEs in the State hospitals as evidenced by Patients buying their own gloves and, HCWs getting their own personal facemask and eye goggles among other basic PPEs.”
The communiqué explained, “Up until Thursday 21st May 2020, the Unions and Associations were opened to negotiations and honoured an invitation for a meeting called by the honourable commissioner of health even at very short notice.
“However issues raised at the meeting were not considered by the government, rather our members were inundated with a Circular signed by the Commissioner of health, threatening no work no pay. This was followed by a press release with a threat from government to sack any of our members who Participates in the strike action.
“On the basis of the above, we wish to state that the 7- days warning strike has commenced as we earlier notified from 12 noon today Friday 22nd MAY, 2020.
We want to thank our members for complying with the directive of the unions and associations in the Kaduna Health Sector.
“The general public should take note that we are open to dialogue and should therefore prevail on the state government to listen to the voice of reason and do the needful to avert the avoidable crisis in the Health Sector of the State.”
It will be recalled that The Kaduna State Government had earlier rejected the planned strike action by the Congress of Health Workers Unions and Associations in the state.
The state government said it has therefore introduced a register to be signed by those willing to work with the government, despite the salary cut-down.