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Health workers begin strike on Friday in Bayelsa

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The Medical and Health Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MHWUN), Bayelsa Chapter says it will begin an indefinite industrial action on Friday over non-payment of 15 months’ salary arrears owed its members.

The MHWUN Chairman, Barnabas Simon, who gave the notice in a statement on Wednesday in Bayelsa explained that the arrears owed the union members ranged from two to 15 months.

Simon expressed displeasure over many unresolved issues by the government as it affects primary health care workers in the eight local government areas in the state.

He said that the union had given the government notice on the strike which would expire on Thursday.

He expressed regret that there were no signs from the government on meeting the demand for payment of the outstanding emoluments of the health workers.

“The Bayelsa State Council of Medical and Health Workers’ Union of Nigeria is hereby directing all her members to down tools from Feb. 12 after the expiration ultimatum on Feb.11,” he said

According to him, the strike became imperative given the state government’s refusal to address the grievances of salary arrears owed the primary health care workers ranging from.

Simon said that the health workers were also aggrieved over the non-implementation of the new National Minimum Wage across the eight LGA’s.

He said that the agitations of the health workers also include non-implementation of promotion from 2015, 2019 and 2020 and no yearly incremental steps from 2012 till date.

He further noted that having exhausted all avenues of dialogue in the amicable resolution of the workers’ grievances, the union could no longer sit on the fence but to down tools.

“So, an ultimatum was given where government called and asked for more time to ensure the implementation of promotions and the N30,000.00 New Minimum Wage but all is resulting to deceit.

“A new ultimatum is being given which will expire on Feb. 11, and till this time there is no sign or signal to indicate implementation of any of these,” he said.

According to him, in the light of the above, the union is left with no other option but to inform the public of this unfair treatment by the government to its members.

“The union should not be blamed for taking any industrial action but hold the government accountable.

“The Union is not closing doors for negotiations but any forum for such must be a hopeful one,” he said.

All efforts made to get the state Commissioner for Health, Newton Igwelle, to comment on the planned industrial action by MHWUN was unsuccessful as he declined to comment on the development.

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