Frontline health workers in Nigeria working tirelessly for the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic has kicked against disparity in the hazard allowances paid by the Federal Government.
The Nigerian health workers are protesting the payment of 10 per cent to non-clinical staff while the clinical staff were paid 50 per cent of their salaries as COVID-19 hazard allowance by the government.
The health workers, under the umbrella body of the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) and other Assembly of Health Professionals, threatened to shut down the health sector because of the disparity in the payment of hazards allowance to its members.
JOHESU membership include the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN), Nigeria Union of Allied Health Professionals (NUAHP), and Senior Staff Association of University Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes and Associated Institutions (SSAUTHRIAI).
Biobelemoye Josiah, the National Chairman of JOHESU,who spoke during a visit by the leadership of National Association of Nigerian Students( NANS) led by its Vice President, Comrade Dominic Philip, to the headquarters of the union in Abuja on Tuesday, said its members see the “treatment as unfair,” warning that something urgent must be done to avert a shut down of the “fragile health system.”
“Actually, we are very procedural, we don’t pray for it to fail, the issue is a simple issue, and for anybody that loves Nigeria may not want it to fail. But where the unthinkable happens, as procedural people, we’ll give a very short notice within the ambits of the law, then we will mobilise our people to prepare for a very pointed industrial action.” Josiah said.
He added that the union would give a little time notification on its planned strike if the proposed meeting with government officials fail to address the issues raised by the union.