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ln spite of sack threat, Kaduna health workers begin 7-day warning strike

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Unperturbed by Gov. Nasir El-Rufai’s sack threat, health workers in Kaduna State have begun a seven-day warning strike to press home their demands.

An indication to this was contained in a communiqué at the end of the joint meeting of Kaduna State Healthcare Workers Unions and Associations.
PerSecondnews recalls that El-Rufai had threatened to sack the health workers if they make good their decision to embark on strike.

The statement was signed by Dr Danjuma Sale, Chairman MDCAN BDTH,Dr Emmanuel Joseph,President ARD Kaduna,Mr Ibrahim Abashe, Chairman, National Association of Pharmaceutical Technologists and Pharmacy Technology of Nigeria, Dr Stephen Akau Kache, Chairman NMA Kaduna and 10 other state healthcare workers unions and associations.

The unions said the meeting was called to assess the response of the Kaduna State Government to their earlier notice of a seven-day warning strike.
The statement said: “We observed that Kaduna state government deducted 25% of the salaries from about 11000 of her Healthcare workers in the midst of COVID 19 (April and May). This action was done in violation of section 5 of the Labour Act.”
“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.”

The health workers said the promised 10 per cent incentives for other HCWs, although inadequate, had not been paid.They said most HCWs that were infected with Covid 19 were from health facilities outside the IDCC and isolation centres and none of them had  been paid the purported N100,000 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 a. Patients buying their own gloves b. HCWs getting their own personal facemask and eye goggles among other basic PPEs,” the health workers said.

They said it was imperative to clarify  that their action was not in any way a blackmail in the midst of the Covid 19 pandemic.

The public should  note of that the state doctors were on Strike prior to the Pandemic but were prevailed upon to call off their actions by the State and National NMA, they explained.

The striking health workers said: “At a time when the case management thematic pillars was having difficulties to get volunteers the unions came to their rescue by mobilizing and fully organizing the first training for HCWs to improve the capacity to take care of Covid 19 patients.

“Up until Thursday 21st May 2020, the Unions and Associations were opened to negotiations and honored an invitation for a meeting called by the honorable commissioner of health even at a 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.”

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