The federal government said it has directed the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) and the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) to withdraw their strike notices immediately pending when both unions harmonize their positions on the new hazard allowance for health workers.
The Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige, stated this Friday, July 9, after a meeting that started on Thursday night, July 8, and ended on Friday morning in Abuja.
Ngige condemned both unions over their disagreement on how to share the 300 per cent increment on hazard allowances, which came to a quantum amount of N37.5 billion.
According to him, the government gave enough time to the two bodies of the health unions and professionals to harmonise their different positions on the hazard allowance, but they were not able to do so.
Ngige said: “I have directed them to withdraw the trade dispute notices issued to the Federal Government by the National Association of Resident Doctors and JOHESU.
“I told them to withdraw because it is arm twisting. It is not allowed in ILO CBA negotiation. So, we expect them to withdraw those notices they gave.
“JOHESU gave a 15-day ultimatum with effect from June 28. NARD gave 28-day ultimatum from the day they had their NEC.
“Those things are arm twisting and I told them that they must withdraw them because the issues they are bringing in here are tangential issues.
“They have nothing to do with this discussion here on fixing a new hazard allowance for health professionals and workers.”
Ngige said the matter would be taken back to the National Salaries, Wages and Incomes Commission (NSWIC) and the Presidential Committee on Salaries to decide on the new hazard allowance for health professionals and workers.