Health workers under the auspices of the Medical and Health Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MHWUN), Bayelsa State Council said it will embark on an indefinite strike over non-payment of salary arrears ranging from 2-15 months owed primary health care workers across the eight local government areas of the state.
The Unioy said it has given the government an ultimatum which will expire on the 11th of February, 2021 and regretted that until this very moment there is no signal indicating the implementation of any of the demands.
In a statement signed and issued to newmen in Yenagoa by the Chairman of MHWUN in the state, Comrade Barnabas Simon expressed displeasure over so many unresolved issues by the government as it affects primary health care workers in the eight LGA’s in the state.
The statement noted that the strike will take effect from the 12th of February, 2021 after the expiration ultimatum on 11th of February, adding that government has not shown any seriousness in resolving the issues.
According to the statement the strike became imperative given the state government’s refusal to address the grievances of salary arrears owed primary health care workers ranging from 2-15 months, none implementation of the New National Minimum Wage across the eight LGA’s, none implementation of promotion from 2015, 2019 and 2020 and no yearly incremental steps from 2012 till date.
It further noted that having exhausted all avenues of dialogue in the amicable resolution of the workers grievances, the Union can no longer sit on the fence but to go down tools.
” The Medical and Health Workers’ Union of Nigeria, Bayelea State Council is currently expressing her displeasure over a number of issues yet to be resolved by the government state for the PHC workers.
“The grievances of the workers are: none implementation of promotion from 2015, 2019 and 2020, salary arrears owed PHC workers ranging from 2-15 months across the 8 LGA’s, none implementation of the New National Minimum Wage across the eight LGA’s, no yearly incremental steps and none restoration of health attendants to the health salary structure.”
The statement further stated that, “occasioned by the above mentioned issues, the Union made frantic efforts, engaging government severally which resulted to setting up of Committees of diverse kinds but to our surprise it is noticed that setting up of Committees is used as a delay tactics to buy time.
” So an ultimatum was given where government called and asked for more time to ensure the implementation of promotions and the N30,000.00 New Minimum Wage but all is resulting to deciet.
“A new ultimatum is being given which will expire on the 11th of February, 2021 and till this time there is no sign or signal to indicate implementation of any of these.
” In the light of the above, we are left with no other option but to inform the public of this unfair treatment by government to our members, more so to say that the Union should not be blamed for taking any industrial action but hold the government accountable.
” Therefore, the Bayelea State Council of Medical and Health Workers’Union of Nigeria is hereby directing all her members to go down tools from 12th February, 2021, as the Union is not closing doors for negotiations but any forum for such must be a hopeful one,” the statement concluded.
All efforts made to get the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Newton Pabara to comment on the industrial action by MHWUN was unsuccessful as he could not be reached before going to press.