Flash: Resident doctors call off strike

April 10, 2021
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Striking doctors under the auspices of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has called off its 10 days old strike.

The union’s decision to call off the strike comes shortly after the union signed a Memorandum of Action (MoA) with the Federal government on Saturday.

The MoA was the second in a fortnight. The first one was signed on March 31 but was later rejected by the striking doctors.

Following the meeting with the Federal government, NARD president, Dr Okhuaihesuyi Uyilawa, promised to present the latest agreement before members with a view to calling off the strike.

Later confirming the development to Channels TV on Saturday, Mr Okhuaihesuyi said that NARD  took its decision after a virtual meeting with union members that lasted for about 15 hours.

He further disclosed that the union will make its decision public on Sunday.

Recall that the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, said on Saturday in Abuja that the new MoA was signed after a conciliatory meeting between representatives of the federal government and those of NARD.

Mr Ngige said Saturday’s meeting became necessary to amend the first MoA signed with the striking doctors.

He disclosed  that there were irregularities in the payment of salaries of House Officers, adding that while some got double payments, a few had not been paid.

“In view of this situation, a five-man committee was set up to harmonise the list of affected officers and they have 72 hours to produce a valid list.

“The list will be submitted to the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) through the Federal Ministry of Health,” Mr Ngige said.

The minister noted that the issue of hazard allowance was not peculiar to members of NARD but that it cuts across the entire health system.

He said that the Presidential Committee on Salaries (PCS) would meet with the national salaries, incomes and wages commission on April 12 to examine the hazard allowance issue.

The minister added that the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), the Joint Health Sector Unions, NARD and other stakeholders would meet on April 14, 2021, with the PCS with their position papers on the issue.

Mr Ngige appealed to NARD to give the conciliation process a chance for industrial peace to prevail by calling off the strike.

Resident doctors began a nationwide strike on April 1 to demand improved welfare packages, while President Buhari travelled for a medical check-up on March 30.

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