Despite threats issued by the Kaduna State government, health workers in the state have commenced a 7-day warning strike over unresolved issues the State Government.
This was made known in a communique issued at the end of the joint meeting of Kaduna State Healthcare Workers Unions and Associations.
The communiqué issued to journalists on Saturday 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.
“We 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). 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 IDC 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 said.
“None of our members working in hospitals have been contacted to give their details for the widely publicized #5million and the #2 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.”
“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 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 the government to sack any of our members who participate in the strike action.”
“We want to thank our members for complying with the directive of the unions and associations in the Kaduna State 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,” they said.