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COVID-19: Kaduna Health Workers Ignore Threats, Begin Strike Action

Health workers in Kaduna has begun strike action despite threat by Governor El-Rufa’i.

The striking workers accused the governor of not honouring an agreement on salary adjustments, among other matters. The doctors also want a refund of 25% of their salaries which they claim was illegally deducted by the state government.

In a communique on Saturday, following a meeting of leaders of 14 unions, the health workers said the deduction of 25% of their salaries contravenes section 5 of the labour act.

“The meeting was called to assess the response of the Kaduna state government to our earlier communication and notice of a 7-day warning strike to press home our demands,” they said.

“We observed the following: Kaduna state government deducted 25 per cent of the salaries from about 11000 of her healthcare workers in the midst of COVID 19 (April and May).

“This action was done in violation of section 5 of the labour act. Kaduna state government paid between N150,000 to N450,000 as occupational safety incentives to about 300 selected HCWs and non HCWs working as staff or volunteers in the IDCC and isolation centres or serving in some of the COVID-19 pillars.”

They said none of them have seen details of N5 million life insurance promised them.

“Most HCWs that were infected with Covid-19 are from health facilities outside the IDCC and isolation centres and none of them have been paid the purported N100,000 daily for 10 days,” the health workers said.

“None of our members working in hospitals have been contacted to give their details for the widely publicised N5 million and the N2 million life and disability insurance respectively.”

They also said that they do not have enough personal protective equipment (PPEs), adding that they buy their own face masks, gloves, among other such items.

“However, issues raised at the meeting were not considered by the government. Rather, our members were inundated with a circular signed by the commissioner of health, threatening no work no pay,” the workers said.

“This was followed by a press release with a threat from the government to sack any of our members who participates in the strike action. On the basis of the above we wish to state that the 7-day warning strike has commenced as we earlier notified from 12 noon today, Friday, 22nd May, 2020.”

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