The strike notices served to the Federal Government by the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) and the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) have been described as “arm twisting” by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige.
He made this remark on Friday during a media briefing after the end of the meeting with the Presidential Committee on Salaries (PCS) and other stakeholders.
Ngige shared that he asked the two groups to withdraw their notices as it did not harmonise with the negotiation enshrined in the International Labour Organisation Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBAs).
The minister said, “I told them to withdraw because it is arm-twisting. It is not allowed in International Labour Organisation Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBAs) negotiation. So, we expect them to withdraw those notices they gave.
“JOHESU gave 15-day ultimatum with effect from June 28. NARD gave 28-day ultimatum from when the day they had their National Executive Council.
“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 on fixing a new hazard allowance for health professionals and workers.”
NARD and JOHESU Conclusions
On the conclusions that the involved parties had reached, Ngige said that more time had been allocated for a consensus to be reached.
He said, “We will have separated them into JOHESU and NMA but that will give us much problem in terms of the implementation of whatever we agree on.
“So, we are taking them jointly and it is yielding fruits now. The two big bodies have given their final positions. The government has taken their final positions back.
“We have also allowed them time to see if they can discuss among themselves like they did just before COVID-19 and we came out with COVID-19 allowance.
“We have given them that time to see if they can meet and harmonise their positions but they are not able to do so.
“We are adjourning this meeting sine die for the government side to look at those two positions to see whether we can do a middle of the road within our organ, the NSIWC, which by its mandate, is the government organ that fixes salaries, wages, allowances and remuneration.”