Sunday, September 19, 2021

Nigerian govt to meet health workers over hazard allowance

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The Federal Government says it will meet with representatives of health sector workers
in a fortnight to harmonise their proposals on new hazard allowance for workers in government health establishments.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, said this while addressing newsmen at the end of a meeting on Wednesday in Abuja.

The meeting was between the Presidential Committee on Salaries, PCS, relevant Federal Government stakeholders and health sector professional associations and trade unions to discuss the proposed new hazard allowance for health workers in government establishments.

According to Mr Ngige, progress has been made in the discussions between government and the two umbrella bodies of the health workers — the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, and Joint Health Sector Unions, JOHESU.

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He added that “the meeting succeeded in making the health workers to appreciate the plight of government, caused by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the country’s crude oil-based mono economy.

“We are making progress. At least one of the parties has agreed to the government recommendation. We urged the other party to go and dot the i’s, and cross the t’s in their own recommendation.

“Government will also go back and see what we can do within the ambit of the proposals being given by them. We have agreed to reconvene in a fortnight to harmonise the proposals.”

The minister said that the Federal Government would not make the amount public until they fine-tune it.

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He explained that even those in agreement with the government proposal, still had a little problem with compartmentalisation of their health workers into junior and senior workers.

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“We need to leave them to get back to their constituents and agree on that one, so that we can harmonise our proposals. We are discussing with two associations.

“So, in Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), you allow them to give their own position as it suits their members. The members are not same. The only thing is that you have both workers in the hospital,” he said.

Mr Ngige, therefore, noted that the Federal Government was dealing with two umbrella associations.

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“That is the NMA, representing the trio of National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), consultants and MDCAN, and JOHESU representing nurses and midwives, laboratory scientists association, pharmacists association, radiographers and physiotherapists.’’


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