Health workers threaten fresh strike over unpaid hazard allowances

*The Senior Staff Association of Universities Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes and Associated Institutions says it can no longer guarantee continued services and industrial peace, if the Federal Government fails to pay members ‘all the arrears owed’ within a week

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

In a move to curry the attention of the Federal Government to pay arrears of their hazard allowances, the Senior Staff Association of Universities Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes and Associated Institutions (SSAUTHRIAI) has issued a seven-day ultimatum to the authorities.

ConsumerConnect reports SSAUTHRIAI announced this in a communique Mr. Kabir Mustapha, Acting Chairman, and Mr. Joseph Ugwoke, Acting Secretary, signed after a two-day meeting held October 12-13, 2022, in Calabar, Cross River State capital.

The health workers’ association resolved that it could no longer guarantee continued services, if its members were not paid all the arrears owed within a week to avoid an industrial crisis in the health sector of the Nigerian economy.

The workers also alleged that despite writing severally to the Government, the payment has been delayed.

According to them, the government selectively paid four and five months in tranches to doctors while sidelining other health workers in the country.

The COVID-19 Special Inducement Allowance, the association urged the Federal Government to pay the balance of 40 percent being two months owed its members.

SSAUTHRIAI further stated: “We demand the payment of 40 percent balance of the remaining two months to our members who were erroneously paid 10 percent.

“Also, the association notes with dismay the rate at which health workers especially professionals are migrating out of the country for greener pastures.

“This is due to the poor condition surrounding our health facilities, no consumables for health workers to work with and poor welfare packages.”

The workers urged the Nigerian Government to, as a matter of urgency, implement the Septembee 30, 2017, agreement on adjusting the Consolidated Health Salary Structure, (CONHESS).

The government at all levels should make remittances of deducted but unremitted funds to the unions and cooperatives without further delay and remit third-party deductions forthwith, said the Association.

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