Nigerian nurses, under the aegis of the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, NANNM, may suspend their planned strike, Saturday Mirror gathered yesterday.
NANNM had said through its President, Abdrafiu Adeniji, at a briefing in Abuja last Wednesday that all nurses in public health facilities in the country would suspend services indefinitely from next Monday, except government met its demands.
The planned strike, according to the Nurses, followed government’s failure to implement an Industrial Arbitration Panel, IAP’s, judgment given in their favour 34 years ago. NANNM’s decision trails series of similar strikes that had been embarked upon by other health professional groups in the country in the past one year.
The strikes have slowed health care delivery in the nation while they lasted. Chief Press Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Health, Alh Isiaka Yusuf, told Saturday Mirror in a telephone interview yesterday that government met with the nurses on Thursday.
He however did not give details of the meeting. His words: “I cannot give the exact details of the meeting between the Federal Government and leaders of the nurses. But, I am sure, government met with them and the meeting will still continue tomorrow, (today).”
Corroborating the submission of the Federal Government, Adeniji informed Saturday Mirror yesterday in a telephone interview that there was already a productive dialogue between the parties. “We have met (with government), but we could not finish.
There is going to be another meeting tomorrow (today); but there is progress.” Asked if he saw the strike being suspended by the association, he replied: “there is green light.”
NANNM had said continuous refusal of the Federal Ministry of Health to comply fully with the implementation of IAP awards and subsequent NIC judgments for the past 34 years could no longer be tolerated by his members. “On the 7th May, 1981, the Tribunal of the Industrial Arbitration Panel gave awards to the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives among which bothered on the professionalism of nursing, autonomy of the nursing profession, the scheme of service for nurses etc.
“The Federal Ministry of Health and Office of the Head of Civil Service of the federation refused to implement the awards in full since 1981, despite the Association’s repeated appeals and reminders.
“In October, 2010, the association approached the National Industrial Court and filed a suit against the Federal Ministry of Health for the partial implementation of the same awards of 1981.
“The judgment that was delivered on 27th January, 2012 was again in favour of our association, NANNM. Rather than the Federal Ministry of Health complying with the NIC judgment, it filed an appeal in the Court of Appeal in April, 2012.
It will interest the Nigerian public to know that the appeal was dismissed by the court of Appeal on 21st January, 2014 for want of prosecution,” Adeniji had added.
SOURCE: National Mirror Online.net
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