COVID-19:National Health Workers Threaten Strike Over Unpaid Allowance

Abuja (Precise Post) – Health workers in Nigeria has on Friday called the country to an impending industrial crisis as the Federal Government refused to pay them their full COVID-19 hazard allowances.

According to them, the Consolidated Health Salary Structure adjustment must be done without delay as their members were running out of patience.

“We want them to know that an hour of disharmony in the health sector at this critical time may cause this country much trouble,” the workers threatened.

The workers, under the aegis of Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria, said the demand became necessary following doctors’ misunderstanding that other health workers were asking for pay parity with them.

The National President of MHWUN, Josiah Biobelemoye, gave the warning during a visit to the Chief Medical Director of University of Abuja Teaching Hospital in Gwagwalada, Prof. Ekele Bisalla.

He blamed the Federal Ministry of Health for creating division among healthcare workers.

Biobelemoye told the UATH CMD that the union “has resolved to shut down the health system if government doesn’t correct the anomalies before payment of the third batch of the COVID-19 allowance.”

According to him, the agreement signed with the FMoH on the COVID-19 allowance was that those who earn N5,000 as hazard allowance would be paid 50 per cent of their basic salary.

But instead of implementing the agreement accordingly, he said, the CMDs of various hospitals were misled into implementing only the ‘D part’ of the agreement, which they misunderstood to be 10 per cent payment to healthcare workers that are considered non-medical professionals.

Biobelemoye said, “There is misinformation that has been going round about COVID – 19 allowances.

“We entered into an agreement and it was explicit. The agreement in paragraph one part A, B, C and D was very clear, but the CMDs were misled to acting on only paragraph D, leaving out the full aspect of sections A, B and C.

“This was confirmed even when we met with the Federal Ministry of Health officials. They agreed that there was an error and asked us to provide them the list of those that were wrongly paid 10 per cent. We have done that, stating the financial implication.

“So, we want to make it open to your management team now so that the circular with the wrong information can be withdrawn and replaced with the corrected one.

“This is because in the agreement, paragraph 1 A states that the N5,000 hazard allowance has been shelved and in its place, 50 per cent shall be approved for all health workers and non health professionals.”

Punch HealthWise

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