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Health workers seek payment of salary despite ‘no work’

Health workers seek payment of salary despite ‘no work’

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Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja

The Joint Health Sector Unions are seeking the payment of salaries of health workers who did not work for 43 days during the strike which was recently called off.

This is despite a directive by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation that all workers who embark on strike would not be paid for work not done.

In a circular issued by the Head, Department of Hospital Services, Dr. J.O Amedu for the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, the ministry had announced that all salaries would not be paid.

It read, “In line with provision of Section 43 of the Trade Dispute Act CAP 18, Law of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN), 2004 and the International Labour Organisation’s principles concerning employers’ right during strike in essential services, the Federal Government has invoked this provision and is therefore enforcing ‘No work, no pay’ law on unions and associations who decide to embark on strike without consideration of government efforts to resolve their request.

“This directive is the decision of a high-level body of government stakeholders chaired by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.”

However, it was learnt that JOHESU had reached out to the Federal Government to pay the salary in the spirit of reconciliation

A spokesperson for JOHESU said this would be one of the demands to be tabled before officers nominated to carry out alternative dispute resolution on Monday.

Justice Sanusi Kado of a National Industrial Court in Abuja had ordered an alternative dispute resolution mechanism be put in place by JOHESU and the Federal Government.

A spokesman for JOHESU, Mr. Jack Lampang, said, “The no work, no pay rule can be set aside. When the NMA went on strike, the ‘no work, no pay’ rule was suspended. We are going into conflict resolution and it would be resolved for the sake of peace.

“We are aware of the circular from the SGF but you have to understand that if the ministry had done what it ought to do, there would not have been a strike in the first place.”

Meanwhile, it was learnt that some health workers have resumed in some government hospitals.

Our correspondent observed that in the National Hospital, several health workers were already providing ancillary services.

However, some health institutions under the Federal Capital Territory like the Gwarinpa General Hospital had yet to resume.

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