By; AMOS TAUNA, Kaduna
The Congress of Health Workers Unions and Associations, Kaduna State chapter, has given the state government an ultimatum to refund their 25 percent salary that was cut and also provide them with Personal Protective Equipments.
The union said failure by the state government to meet the demand, they will be left with no option than to take all the necessary actions within the labour laws.
The workers stated this in a communique issued at the end of its joined meeting, and signed by the leaders of associations of Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria, Kaduna State Council, Medical Association of Nigeria, Nigeria Society of Physiotherapy and AMLSN Kaduna Branch.
The communique said, “We reject in its entirety the deduction of 25% of healthcare workers salary as this is illegal and has reduced the morale of workers in the frontlines.”
Participants at the meeting said they demand for a refund of the 25% deducted in April, 2020 and a stoppage of further deductions. “All health workers currently in contact with patients or body specimens are at high risk of exposure to COVID 19 and other infectious diseases and should be categorized as such in the Occupational Safety insensitive of the state government,” the statement added.
They urged the state government to provide adequate basic PPEs to all the health facilities across the state, “If government fails to meet the above demands, then this communique shall serve as an ultimatum to the State government and we shall be left with no option than to take all the necessary actions within the Labour laws.”
They lamented that the 25% of healthcare workers’ salaries was illegally slashed in the month of April 2020 without due consultations with the attendant demotivation of the healthcare workforce.
They noted that since the quarantine order imposed on the state, it exempted healthcare workers who have been in the frontlines of the battle against COVID 19 in the state and have continued to offer services to Non COVID 19 patients since the lockdown began.
They lamented that there is no clear definition of the different categories of healthcare workers in the Occupational Safety incentives announced by the State government, adding that all healthcare workers in the state are in the frontlines of this fight against COVID 19 as long as they continue to see patients.
They observed that there are inadequate Personal Protective Equipments at the hospitals and primary health centres across the State and warned that join health workers resolved to take labour action if the 25 percent earlier cut by the government is not refunded.
In attendance at the meeting were representatives of National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives, Association of Medical Laboratory Scientist of Nigeria Kaduna state, Nigerian Medical Association Kaduna State, Association of resident doctors Kaduna State, Medical and Dental consultants association of Nigeria BDTH, Association of resident doctors BDTH, National Association of Community Health practitioners of Nigeria, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Association of Hospital and Administrative Pharmacists of Nigeria (AHAPN), National Association of Pharmaceutical Technologist and pharmacy Technician of Nigeria, Nigeria Society of Physiotherapy, Kaduna state chapter, Environmental Health Officers Association of Nigeria, Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria, Joint Health Workers Union, Kaduna.